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.