U.S. President George Bush wants to cut
America's dependence on foreign oil by increasing the domestic production
of alternative fuels. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns has the
President Bush wants Americans to cut their use of gasoline by 20
percent over the next 10 years. On Thursday, Mr. Bush met with scientists
working on enzymes to produce ethanol from wood chips and agricultural
"It's an interesting time, isn't it, when you are able to say, we are
on the verge of some breakthroughs that will enable a pile of wood chips
to become the raw materials for fuels that will run your car," he said.
The president spoke during a meeting with officials from the Novozymes
Corporation in the state of North Carolina. Novozymes scientists used a
federal grant to cut the cost of producing cellulosic ethanol.
Mr. Bush says that is just the sort of federal assistance needed to
break America's dependence on foreign oil.
"We're all connected, and so when a Chinese economy grows, and their
demand for oil goes up, it affects the price that you pay for gasoline,"
he added. "People got to know that. And, therefore, it is important for us
to continue to advance these kinds of research projects."
The president's energy plan also includes improving fuel economy
standards for automobiles and boosting investments in clean-coal
technology, hybrid vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells.
The United States currently imports about 60 percent of its oil.
President Bush wants to step up domestic production in what he calls
environmentally sensitive ways in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in
Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico.