Last week, President Bush gave a speech on energy policy in Columbus, Ohio, in which he encouraged Congress to pass an energy bill. Once again, he touted his plan to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a move he said would "eventually reduce our dependence on foreign oil by up to a million barrels of oil a day." The key word here is "eventually." Even if approvals for drilling ANWR were granted immediately, the first oil from the refuge would not reach the continental United States for years. Furthermore, as the New York Times reported last month, it appears that the major oil companies may have cooled in their desire to drill in the refuge. During his speech, Bush also talked about efficiency measures that could save homeowners electricity. But during his 4,600-word, 35-minute-long speech, Bush uttered the words "hybrid vehicle" exactly one time.
It's astonishing that Bush, the former Texas oil man, still doesn't understand the fundamental problem of America's imported oil addiction. Nor does he appear to grasp the threat that is posed by the possibility of peak oil.
The majority of the oil that the United States imports from places like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela is used as motor fuel in automobiles. Yet the president conflated the idea that burning more coal and building more nuclear power plants will somehow allow America to reduce its oil imports. In his speech, Bush refused to discuss the obvious: We cannot cut our oil imports (read: gasoline addiction) without dramatic changes to our auto fleet. At some point, the United States will have to force the automakers to build more efficient automobiles. And a key part of that efficiency changeover will mean replacing increasing numbers of America's 200 million cars and trucks with hybrid vehicles.
Remarkably, when it comes to thinking about peak oil and what it means for the future of America, Wall Street analysts and neocons are taking the lead, while the former oil man from Midland keeps his head up his tailpipe. (my emphasis)
Well put. Sell your SUV while you can still get something for it. Advertise it in Jesusland. Those idiots think Georgie'll drill us out of it.
As hybrids become more common, a whole range of well-developed second generation vehicles from minis to vans will emerge. I'll probably spend my retirement in a hybrid RV.