President Bush Aims to Cut Gasoline Use with Alternative Fuels

January 24, 2007


Photo of Congress giving a standing ovation to President Bush.

President Bush delivers the State of the Union Address to Congress.
Credit: White House/Shealah Craighead

President Bush's State of the Union Address, delivered last night, included a proposal for the United States to use 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels by 2017. The President's proposed "Alternative Fuel Standard" sets a goal that is nearly five times greater than the current Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires the use of 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2012. The proposed standard can be achieved with a variety of fuels—including corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, methanol, butanol, and hydrogen—and is meant to displace 15 percent of the projected U.S. gasoline use in 2017. The fuel requirement is part of the President's "Twenty in Ten" initiative, which aims to cut U.S. gasoline use by 20 percent over the next 10 years. The proposal also includes an increase in fuel economy requirements for cars, which will yield an additional 5 percent savings in gasoline consumption.

The President also called for greater use of wind and solar energy, expanded use of clean diesel vehicles, and accelerated research into the batteries needed for plug-in hybrid vehicles. The President earned a standing ovation from Congress as he noted that "these technologies will help us be better stewards of the environment, and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change." See the full text of the President's speech and a summary of the "Twenty in Ten" initiative on the White House Web site.