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Radio Address by the President to the Nation 23/2

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 23, 2002

Radio Address by the President to the Nation

Listen to the President's Remarks

PRESIDENT BUSH: Good morning. As I return from a successful trip to Asia, the United States Senate will return from its recess for an important debate on America's energy security.

As our economy continues to grow, U.S. oil consumption is projected to increase by about one-third during the next 20 years. Our demand for electricity is expected to rise by 45 percent. America is already using more energy than our domestic resources can provide, and unless we act to increase our energy independence, our reliance on foreign sources of energy will only increase.

I have a balanced, comprehensive and aggressive energy plan that will help address this challenge. The plan has five main parts: First, it promotes conservation. It increases funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, and supports the development of fuel-efficient vehicles.

Second, my plan will modernize our energy delivery systems. America can't meet tomorrow's energy needs with yesterday's infrastructure. Just as the Internet has made our information more convenient, new technology can make our energy cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient by upgrading power lines and connecting producers and consumers across the whole country.

Third, my new budget invests in new technologies, such as fuel cells that may someday power our cars with hydrogen and emit only water.

Fourth, my plan offers tax credits and other incentives for the use of renewable energy sources, like wind power, solar power, and fuels derived from crops. Renewable energy can increase our energy independence and help our farm economy.

Conservation technology and renewables are important. Yet they alone cannot solve our energy problems. We must also reduce America's dependence on foreign sources of oil by encouraging safe and clean exploration at home.

On my way to visit Asia, I stopped in Alaska, a place of tremendous natural beauty and important energy resources. I met with many Alaskans, including native leaders who want to preserve the grandeur of their state while carefully developing the energy beneath a small fraction of it. New technology makes this possible. Our national security makes it urgent.

Alaskans know firsthand that modern technology allows us to bring oil to the surface cleanly and safely, while protecting our environment and wildlife. We should listen to Alaskans who support exploring ANWR in a safe and clean way.

Passing my comprehensive energy plan is not just important for energy security, it is also vital to our economic security. Economic growth requires reliable and affordable energy, and labor organizations support my plan because they know my energy plan means thousands of new jobs across America.

We all remember the blackouts and the sky-high energy bills of recent summers. I urge Congress to protect consumers from these wild swings in energy prices for the future. The House has passed my agenda for energy independence. Now I urge the Senate to act.

Thank you for listening.

END

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