President George W. Bush says he is "fired up" about renewable energy. On a visit to the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory on Tuesday Bush mentioned but downplayed his government's push to build nuclear power plants and turned his attention to clean coal, ethanol, hybrid cars, wind and solar power.
"We're close to changing the way we live in an incredibly positive way," the President said in remarks to an energy conservation and efficiency panel.
To achieve the "national goal of becoming less dependent on foreign sources of oil," Bush said "we're not relying upon one aspect of renewable energy to help this country become less dependent. We're talking about a variety of fronts."
Bush said he would like to make the research and development tax credit a permanent part of the tax code instead of continuing to require annual reauthorization, a move that would benefit renewable energy development.
Bush said the American taxpayers should understand that research dollars spent now will yield direct benefits for them in the future, such as construction of the first zero emission coal-fired electricity plant by 2015.
"It's important that we spend money on new technologies so we can burn coal cleanly, because we've got 250 years worth of coal reserves," the President said. "The American taxpayers have got to know that by spending money on this vital research, that we're going to be able to use our abundant sources of coal in an environmentally friendly way, and help with your electricity bills," he said.