Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bush Uses Alternative Fuels

An imperiled attorney general, an unpopular war, a hung-over housing market and a presidential approval level of 32 percent: White House officials took all that into consideration and made their decision.

They would have President Bush do another event promoting cellulosic ethanol.
Thus begins Dana Milbank's story in the Washington Post today.

Alternative fuels has become the issue Bush returns to in order to take our eyes off the various disasters befalling both the administration and the country. Six altfuel events for the Prez already this year. According to Milbank:
[Bush's] role as uncompensated pitchman for gasoline alternatives makes perfect sense: If anybody needs a new fuel source, it is George W. Bush in 2007.
Unfortunately, the President can't even muster feigned enthusiasm at these events. The plug-in hybrid and Phoenix showing on the White House lawn seems a flash in the pan. Certainly not part and parcel of a serious exploration of the potential of grid electricity as an alternative to oil.
The president, escorted by the chief executives from Detroit's Big Three, arrived 20 minutes late for yesterday's South Lawn event. Eight minutes later, he was on his way back inside.
The discussion stayed on biofuels. Nothing about raising CAFE, or the "electrification of the automobile" much touted by GM's Volt booster Bob Lutz, who wasn't present. As reported in today's NY Times story about the event,
“If the goal is to reduce oil imports and improve the environment, the opportunity is first of all in ethanol, biodiesel,” [GM's] Mr. Wagoner told reporters after the meeting. The executives spent “very little time” talking about mileage rules, he said."
And nothing about the Volt, I presume.


Lynn Green said...

Do biofuels take about as much enegy to create as energy they produce. I thought I read that some place.

Anonymous said...

“If the goal is to reduce oil imports and improve the environment, the opportunity is first of all in ethanol, biodiesel,” [GM's] Mr. Wagoner told reporters after the meeting.

Yet again evidence that GM does not want to produce a car the the consumer can plug in and power from the grid or use other non-petroleum controled energy sources. GM is so disingenuous.

Anonymous said...

I have a very different take on GW Bush's behavior and motivations. . . I see an administration that has tried many different tactics to increase the USA's petroleum supplies -- they tried to get drilling in ANWR, tried to promote more domestic drilling and offshore drilling, tried to squeeze oil out of Iraq, tried to get pipeline projects built in the Middle East, tried to get more oil out of Mexico and Venezuela. . .

To their immense frustration, none of this has worked. Everything has either been blocked by political opposition (ANWR), blocked by foreign countries (Russia & Venezuela), or simply failed to produce the expected results (Iraq). The only thing that seems to be getting any traction is alternative fuels.

Imagine how surprised Bush and his cronies from the oil business must be as this realization sinks in! These are people who had no enthusiasm for alternative energy, but it's finally dawning on them that this stuff simply has to be developed now, like it or not.

Anonymous said...

We shouldn't have to wait until the Silicon Valley folks come up with more efficient solar panels (they're over 20% now), less expensive methods of mass producing said panels (watch nanosolar.com), and the obtrusiveness of rooftop panels vanishes (thru clever packaging and integration) (also being done). We'll see the incremental price of 'doing solar' for new houses erode still faster, dropping to the point where everyone will want this. Then people will understand that this excess power they effortlessly generate can power their mobility. Then we will have arrived, as a society, in the age of sustainability.