Jan 28, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
Bush may have read influential New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's Friday "State of the Union" recommendations http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/calcars-news/message/266 ... or he was briefed on them. No one expects him to endorse PHEV technology in the State of the Union address.
It seems the auto-makers, and apparently, the President, are at last beginning to talk about evolving from gasoline to ethanol. And we're seeing acknowledgments of the superiority of cellulosic ethanol over that derived from corn/sugar and other foods. This makes our opportunity to establish plug-in hybrids as the starting point even more compelling and urgent. We'll get there with some combination of buyer initiatives like Plug-In Partners and CalCars and perhaps policies like gasoline taxes, CAFE standards and carbon caps.
If plug-in hybrids aren't part of the solution, establishing ethanol as the PRIMARY fuel presents a significant infrastructure challenge. But if we power most of our driving miles from an increasingly-renewable electric grid, obtaining sufficient ethanol for the RANGE-EXTENDER fuel is an achievable goal.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/01/27/eveningnews/main1248952_page3.shtml Exclusive Bush Interview with Bob Schieffer, CBS News
SCHIEFFER: Let's talk about energy independence. We remain, any way you cut it, dependent on foreign oil. I know you want to open up the Arctic wildlife preserve for drilling, but aren't we going to have to do more than that? And I just want to bring up one thing. Tom Friedman, the columnist in the New York Times, had a column today, and he said putting on a huge gas tax is the only way to really get Detroit's attention and get them to making other kinds of cars, and he said the only way to cause people to change their ways. He says you have to change the culture. What's your reaction to that?
PRESIDENT BUSH: First of all, I'm against a huge gas tax. Secondly, I agree with Mr. Friedman that we have got to become independent from foreign sources of oil. In other words, we have got to wean ourselves off hydrocarbons, oil. And the best way, in my judgment, to do it is to promote and actively advance new technologies so that we can drive--have different driving habits. For example, there is--I'm a little hesitant because I don't want to tell you what's in the State of the Union, let me put it to you that way.
SCHIEFFER: You are going to talk about that?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Big time, because I agree with Mr. Friedman, and I agree with Americans who understand being hooked on foreign oil as an economic problem and a national security problem. I couldn't agree more with him. For example, I'm convinced with more research we'll be able to develop additional ways to make ethanol. There is about 4.6 million cars in America now that are flex-fuel cars. They could either use regular gasoline or fuel derived from corn. I'd like, for example, to not only advance that technology of deriving fuel from corn, but also deriving fuel from waste materials, and I'm convinced we could do that with a good push, a technological push. In other words, I want to see different kinds of cars on our road that don't require (sic) upon crude oil from overseas, but we have got a serious problem, and now is the time to fix it, and I'm going to address it again at the State of the Union.