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Bush Promises To ‘Knock Our Socks Off’ At SOTU With 5 Year Old ‘Energy Independence’ Pledge

By Payson Schwin  

"Bush Promises To ‘Knock Our Socks Off’ At SOTU With 5 Year Old ‘Energy Independence’ Pledge"

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Yesterday, the Financial Times reported that energy “will be a central theme of President George W.”‰Bush’s state of the union speech this month”:

Al Hubbard, chairman of the National Economic Council, who is co-ordinating White House energy policy, has also raised expectations. In a speech at De Pauw University he predicted “headlines above the fold that will knock your socks off in terms of our commitment to energy independence.”

In every one of his previous State of the Union addresses, Bush has promised to push America towards energy independence:

- 2006: Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. [1/31/2006]

- 2005: To keep our economy growing, we also need reliable supplies of affordable, environmentally responsible energy. … I urge Congress to pass legislation that makes America more secure and less dependent on foreign energy. [2/2/2005]

- 2004: Consumers and businesses need reliable supplies of energy to make our economy run — so I urge you to pass legislation to modernize our electricity system, promote conservation, and make America less dependent on foreign sources of energy. [1/20/2004]

- 2003: Our third goal is to promote energy independence for our country, while dramatically improving the environment. …Even more, I ask you to take a crucial step and protect our environment in ways that generations before us could not have imagined. [1/28/2003]

- 2002: Good jobs also depend on reliable and affordable energy. This Congress must act to encourage conservation, promote technology, build infrastructure, and it must act to increase energy production at home so America is less dependent on foreign oil. [1/29/2002]

- 2001: We can produce more energy at home while protecting our environment, and we must. We can produce more electricity to meet demand, and we must. We can promote alternative energy sources and conservation, and we must. America must become more energy-independent, and we will. [2/27/2001]

Yet the Financial Times also reports today that “U.S. dependence on the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries for its oil imports has risen to its highest level in 15 years.” “At more than 52 per cent, Opec’s share of US oil imports is at its highest since 1992.” As of Septmeber 2006, 70 percent of oil consumed in the United States came from foreign sources, up from 58 percent in 2000.

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