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Hypothetical examples contingent on speculative conjecture

The State of the Union can’t be taken literally, according to the administration


Having been chastised last night by a long time friend for my dismissive attitude in yesterday’s article towards the Presidents bold plan for addressing our nation’s addiction to oil, I promised to place my reservations on hold and take a closer, open-minded but skeptical look at what the President laid out and how it will be achieved.

Unfortunately, what’s come from the administration in the two days since the proposal of this bold plan leads me to believe I was absolutely right, it was just pandering… vote chasing in an election year.

My first move was to find what the Energy Secretary, Samuel Bodman, had to say about it. If anyone should know about a policy shift on oil by the President, the Energy Secretary should. A quick scan of news articles from the past two days provided plenty of information.

What I found is that Bodman does know more than the rest of us, and he’s talking.

In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, just hours after the President’s speech, the Energy Secretary and Bush’s National Economic Adviser said that the President did not mean it literally when he vowed to reduce America’s dependence on Middle East oil by 75 percent by 2025.

What he actually meant was that alternative fuels could displace an amount of oil imports equivalent to most of what America is expected to import from the Middle East in 2025.

It appears to me that there is concern within the administration; that Americans may be expecting the nation to actually act on the proposal after hearing the President’s speech. The comments from our Energy Secretary and National Economic Adviser seem to make clear that the President was only saying what could be, not what will be.

In his speech the President also pledged to “move beyond a petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past”. Again, according to Bodman, “this was purely an example”.

It’s too early to formulate a conclusion. Perhaps officials are speaking out of turn or missed the President’s memo on oil. I would love to be able to applaud this, or any administration for pulling America–kicking and screaming if need be–out of the dark age of fossil fuels. They’re outdated, unnecessary, limited resources detrimental to the world on many levels.

There is a better way, and I’ll accept it from either side of the aisle. America could lead the world here, but I’d be happy to even keep pace with the pack.

Technorati Tags: oil, State of the Union address

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Posted by Scott Bannon on February 2, 2006.

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