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Increasing U.S. Energy Independence

posted on February 24, 2006

On Friday, The United Arab Emirates company said it would postpone indefinitely its takeover of the six port operations it purchased. The delay gives President Bush more time to argue his support of the deal. Meanwhile at least two lawsuits were filed on Friday to block the sale. While the president argues the sale is not a security risk to the United States ... he is arguing national security on another issue. That issue is energy. President Bush signed sweeping energy reforms into law last year, and he continues to promote his plans to wean the country off foreign oil.

Increasing U.S. Energy Independence

President Bush: "This bill is not going to solve our energy challenges overnight..."

Six months after President Bush signed the energy bill into law, U.S. energy policy remains a contentious issue.

A move in favor of cleaner-burning energy comes at a time when 60 percent of U.S. crude oil comes from foreign nations. More fuel efficient vehicles are a main focal point for the Bush Administration and the President has increased funding for research and development of hybrid cars.

With a renewed call to action during his State of the Union Address, the President proposed alternative energy sources including wind power, solar power, and biofuels.

BUSH SLUG:"...America is addicted to oil..."

But critics say the initiatives represent contradictory policy since the administration supports subsidies for luxury SUVs. Energy conservation groups also have called for increased fuel-efficiency standards. And some economists believe raising the gas tax will force drivers to change their consumption habits.

For rural America, production mandates for biofuels are especially significant. The 2005 energy bill requires the use of 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol annually by 2012 - more than double the current annual production.

Following the federal government's lead, individual states are proposing their own biofuel initiatives. In Iowa - the nation's top ethanol-producing state - Governor Tom Vilsack is proposing a statewide target for alternative fuel sales. Meanwhile, the Iowa Soybean Association claims soy biodiesel could bring the Hawkeye State more than $141 million in additional tax revenue between now and 2010.


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