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Being president can be embarrassing. Just ask George W.
With energy prices squeezing American families and with public anger growing at the rip-off profits of Big Oil, Karl Rove decided that his boy George needed to look like he was doing something. So, Bush’s state-of-the-union talk included some fine rhetoric about stopping America’s addiction to oil and increasing spending on oil alternatives. “The best way to break this addiction,” declared George, “is through technology.”
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Then, to build up Bush’s image as a born-again “green guy,” Karl sent him out to Colorado for a photo-op at the National Renewable Energy Lab – the chief agency doing R & D work on alternative fuel technologies. But – whoops! – it turns out that the day after Bush’s big speech, this lab announced that its budget had been cut by $28 million, forcing it to dump researchers working on the very technologies that Bush had so loudly touted! Embarrassing.
However, to avoid a blushing moment for Bush, Karl quickly yanked the chain of the energy secretary. So, just before George arrived in Colorado, the secretary miraculously discovered $5 million and transferred it to the lab – and the dumped employees were suddenly un-fired. That’s sweet, but it still leaves the lab with a $23-million shortfall in its program.
That’s not the only shortfall in Mr. Green’s commitment to stopping oil addiction. His new budget, for example, cuts federal research to improve fuel efficiency in our cars and trucks, which is the fastest way to reduce America’s oil consumption. And for all of George’s hype about boosting funding for new energy sources, his actual budget hike for the office of renewable fuels is a mere two-tenths of one percent.
This is Jim Hightower saying… The real embarrassment is George W himself. For real leadership on energy independence for America, look to the grassroots group, Apollo Alliance: apolloalliance.org.
“A Full Tank of Rhetoric,” The Progress Report, February 21, 2006.
“Bush admits to ‘Mixed Signals’ Regarding Laboratory in Renewable Energy,” The New York Times, February 22, 2006.