Today, President Bush visited the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado where this month 32 employees were laid off due to a $28 million budget cut. Given the political embarrassment that would result from Bush’s trip to the lab, the Secretary of Energy announced just a day before Bush’s visit that all the jobs would be restored.
The NREL employees were fired seven days after Bush’s State of the Union address in which he stated that we need to break our oil addiction through technology. NREL, according to the Department of Energy, is the “premier laboratory for renewable energy research and development and a leading laboratory for energy efficiency R&D.” Given his flip-floppish actions, many were anxious to hear what Bush would tell the staffers at NREL. From the AP:
President Bush on Tuesday acknowledged that Washington has sent “mixed signals” to one of the nation’s premiere labs studying renewable energies “” by first laying off, then reinstating, 32 workers just before his visit.
Mixed signals? That’s exactly what Bush promised he wouldn’t do if he were re-elected.
I understand the consequence of sending mixed signals. [10/26/04]
Mixed signals are the wrong signals for the American President to send. [10/30/04]
Mixed signals have become the hallmark of this administration’s energy policy. After stating that he would cut our addiction to oil in the State of the Union, Bush then sent a budget to Congress that included cuts for research in fuel efficiency. After saying that he would replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East, the administration then said the President’s words should not be taken literally.