Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bush says he can step up plans for fuel efficiency

President Bush, on Monday May 14, called for the establishment of higher fuel efficiency standards for automobiles, as a step in reducing dependence on fossil fuels (especially foreign oil), and in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that may cause global warming.

Critics of the Bush administration have long maintained that failure to do so will increase international tension and the likelihood of other conflicts over limitations on natural resources and environmental degradation. Until now, Bush has turned a cold shoulder on the Kyoto accords. Filmmakers are turning to the issues, such as Leonardo Di Caprio with the project “The 11th Hour” and the well known film “An Inconvenient Truth” from Al Gore, and Netflix’s on release “A Crude Awakening” from Basil Gelpke and Ray MacCormack. My reviews are here.

Bush said in the Rose Garden Monday that he can implement regulatory changes before he leaves office in January 2009 without Congressional approval.

The media did not pick up a lot on this story. But there is a story by Jim Rutenberg and Edmund L. Andrews “Bush Calls for Work for Higher Fuel Efficiency” in The New York Times, May 15, 2007, here (may require membership or login).

In the mean time, because of refinery problems, even without any immediate crude oil supply choke points today, gasoline prices are now at record levels and could even lead to spot shortages in some areas. The number of domestic refineries has gone down from over 300 twenty years ago to about 160 now.

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