The president says he understands the impact
rising energy prices are having on American consumers and the U.S.
"This problem did not develop overnight and it is not going to be fixed
overnight," said Mr. Bush. "But it is now time to fix it."
He says a comprehensive solution is necessary, one that focuses on
stimulating domestic energy production.
"See, we have a fundamental question we have to face here in America,"
said Mr. Bush. "Do we want to continue to grow more dependent on other
nations to meet our energy needs? Or do we want to do what is necessary to
achieve greater control of our economic destiny?"
In an address to a group of small business executives, the president
listed a new series of measures that would supplement the energy plan he
first sent to Congress several years ago.
He noted that the United States has not built any new oil refineries or
nuclear power plants since the
1970s. Mr. Bush said it is time for America to start building again.
"America has not ordered a new nuclear power plant since the 1970's.
France, by contrast, has built 58 plants in the same period and today
France gets more than 78 percent of its electricity from safe, clean
nuclear power," added Mr. Bush.
The president proposed federal insurance for companies reluctant to
build nuclear plants because they fear regulations might cause unexpected
construction delays. And he addressed concerns about the high cost of
building refineries by offering
up land on closed military bases that could be
leased or transferred from the
Mr. Bush said improvements in technology have already changed the face
of the nuclear power industry, emphasizing this kind of innovation will be
crucial to solving America's long term energy needs. He said the nation
cannot rely forever on fossil fuels, adding technology is the nation's
ticket to energy independence.
"Technology is allowing us to better use our existing energy resources
and in the years ahead, technology will allow us to create entirely new
sources of energy in ways earlier generations could never have dreamed,"
This was the president's second energy policy speech in a week and
followed a meeting at his Texas ranch Monday with Crown Prince Abdullah of
Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer. In all his remarks, Mr.
Bush has sought to pressure Congress to complete work on pending energy
legislation before lawmakers leave for their annual August recess. An
energy package has already cleared the House, but is facing obstacles in