[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George W. Bush (2005, Book II)]
[August 8, 2005]
[Pages 1311-1315]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks on Signing the Energy Policy Act of 2005 in Albuquerque, New 
August 8, 2005

    Thank you all. Please be seated. Thanks very much for the warm 
welcome. I appreciate you treating a neighbor from Texas so kindly. 
[Laughter] I'm really proud to be here with the men and women of the 
Sandia National Laboratory. We just had a fascinating tour of the 
facility. It was a little quick, but I learned a lot, and I want to 
thank Tom Hunter for his hospitality and 
his enthusiasm for the projects that go on here and his praise for the 
people who work here.
    I thank you for coming, and it's such an honor to be here. I know 
full well that the work you do here keeps our military strong, it keeps 
our Nation competitive, and our country is really grateful for your 
dedication and for the fact that you lend your expertise into helping 
    It is such an honor to be in New Mexico, the home State of Pete 
Domenici as well as Jeff 
Bingaman, to sign this bill. 
This bill will strengthen our economy, and it will improve our 
environment, and it's going to make this country more secure. The Energy 
Policy Act of 2005 is going to help every American who drives to work, 
every family that pays a power bill, and every small-business owner 
hoping to expand.
    The bill is the result of years of effort. It is the result of good 
folks coming together, people who have made a commitment to deliver 
results for the American people. This bill launches an energy strategy 
for the 21st century, and I've really been looking forward to signing 
    I appreciate Pete Domenici's leadership 
on this bill. You know, he's the kind of fellow, when he makes up his 
mind to do something, it's hard to stop him. And as Pete said he's 
worked on a lot of energy bills in the past. Some of them were signed by 
Presidents, and some of them never made it to the desk. But he's been 
dogged in his determination to get a bill done, and he found a really 
fine partner in Joe Barton.
    Joe Barton did an outstanding job as the 
chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and he did a really 
good job as the conference chairman. This bill is here in New Mexico 
because of the fine work of Joe Barton and Pete Domenici. And as Pete mentioned, Senator Jeff Bingaman gets a lot of credit as well. He knows 
the subject matter in the bill, and he's a proven leader on issues such 
as conservation and efficiency and renewable fuels and research and 
development. And Jeff, I, like Pete, I want to congratulate you for a 
job well done, and thank you for being here--[applause].
    A member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee came on over, 
Ralph Hall, a great Congressman from the State 
of Texas. Ralph is a good friend. I think he came just to grab a cup of 
coffee on Air Force One, but--[laughter]--I'm proud to have him 
alongside. Thanks for coming, Ralph, and thanks for your vote.
    I appreciate Congressman Steve Pearce from 
eastern New Mexico joining us. He and his wife, Cynthia, are with us. Thanks for coming, Steve. Appreciate 
your support on this bill. Good work. Thank you.
    I put a good fellow to run the Energy Department in Sam 
Bodman. He's smart. He's capable. He's got 
a lot of experience. He knows what he's doing. He's going to be the 
right person to help implement this bill. And I want to thank Sam and 
his wife, Diane, for being here. Thank you all 
for coming.
    I want to remind you about the fact that this economy of ours has 
been through a lot. And that's why it was important to get this energy 
bill done, to help us continue

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to grow. We've been through a stock market decline. We went through a 
recession. We went through corporate scandals. We had an attack on our 
homeland, and we had the demands on an ongoing war on terror. And to 
grow this economy, we worked together to put together an economic growth 
policy, an economic growth package, the cornerstone of which was to cut 
the taxes on the American people. And that tax relief plan is working. 
This economy is strong, and it's growing stronger. And what this energy 
bill is going to do, it's just going to help keep momentum in the right 
direction so people can realize their dreams.
    Last week we had some good news that America added just over 200,000 
jobs--new jobs--in the month of July. Since May of 2003, we've added 
nearly 4 million new jobs. More Americans are working today than ever 
before in our Nation's history. Workers are taking more of what they 
earn--taking home more of what they earn. Inflation is low. Mortgage 
rates are low. Homeownership in America is at an alltime high. In other 
words, this economy is moving. And what this energy bill does is it 
recognizes that we need more affordable and reliable sources of energy 
in order to make sure the economy continues to grow.
    It's an economic bill, but as Pete 
mentioned, it's also a national security bill. For more than a decade, 
America has gone without a national energy policy. It's hard to believe, 
isn't it? We haven't had a strategy in place. We've had some ideas, but 
we have not had a national energy policy. And as a result, our consumers 
are paying more for the price of their gasoline. Electricity bills are 
going up. We had a massive blackout two summers ago that cost this 
country billions of dollars and disrupted millions of lives. And because 
we didn't have a national energy strategy over time, with each passing 
year, we are more dependent on foreign sources of oil.
    Now, solving these problems required a balanced approach. And that's 
the spirit that Pete and Jeff and Joe took 
into the--on to the floors of their respective bodies. They recognized 
that we need a comprehensive approach to deal with the situation we're 
in. In other words, we need to conserve more energy. We need to produce 
more energy. We need to diversify our energy supply, and we need to 
modernize our energy delivery. And so they worked hard and listened to a 
lot of good ideas, and they've taken really important steps.
    Now, one of the things that I appreciate about the people on the 
stage here is that they were able to set aside kind of the partisan 
bickering that oftentimes--too many times--deadlocks Washington, DC. In 
other words, they said, ``Let's get something done for the good of the 
country.'' And that's an important spirit. That's what the American 
people expect. I know the people in New Mexico expect people to go up to 
Washington, DC, and work together for the common good. And that's 
exactly what this bill has done.
    These Members, when they say they're going to strengthen our economy 
and protect our environment and help our national security, are telling 
it like it is. And let me tell you why. First, the bill makes an 
unprecedented commitment to energy conservation and efficiency--an 
unprecedented commitment. The bill sets higher efficiency standards for 
Federal buildings and for household products. It directs the Department 
of Transportation to study the potential for sensible improvements in 
fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks and SUVs. It authorizes 
new funding for research into cutting-edge technologies that will help 
us do more with less energy.
    The bill recognizes that America is the world's leader in technology 
and that we've got to use technology to be the world's leader in energy 
conservation. The bill includes incentives for consumers to be better 
conservers of energy. If you own a home, you can receive new tax credits 
to install energy-efficient windows and appliances. If you're in the 
market for a car,

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this bill will help you save up to $3,500 on a fuel-efficient hybrid or 
clean-diesel vehicle. And the way the tax credit works is that the more 
efficient the vehicle is, the more money you will save. Energy 
conservation is more than a private virtue; it's a public virtue. And 
with this bill I sign today, America is taking the side of consumers who 
make the choice to conserve.
    Second, this bill will allow America to make cleaner and more 
productive use of our domestic energy resources, including coal and 
nuclear power and oil and natural gas. By using these reliable sources 
to supply more of our own energy, we'll reduce our reliance on energy 
from foreign countries, and that will help this economy grow so people 
can work.
    Coal is America's most abundant energy resource. It accounts for 
more than one-half of our electricity production. The challenge is to 
develop ways to take advantage of our coal resources while keeping our 
air clean.
    When I ran for President in 2000, I promised to invest--or asked the 
Congress to invest $2 billion over 10 years to promote clean coal 
technology. So far, working with the United States Congress, we've 
provided more than $1.3 billion for research in the innovative ways to 
improve today's coal plants and to help us build even cleaner coal 
plants in the future. And the bill I sign today authorizes new funding 
for clean coal technology so we can move closer to our goal of building 
the world's first zero emission coal-fired powerplant.
    Nuclear power is another of America's most important sources of 
electricity. Of all our Nation's energy sources, only nuclear 
powerplants can generate massive amounts of electricity without emitting 
an ounce of air pollution or greenhouse gases. And thanks to the 
advances in science and technology, nuclear plants are far safer than 
ever before. Yet America has not ordered a nuclear plant since the 
1970s. To coordinate the ordering of new plants, the bill I sign today 
continues the Nuclear Power 2010 Partnership between Government and 
industry. It also offers a new form of Federal risk insurance for the 
first six builders of new nuclear powerplants. With the practical steps 
in this bill, America is moving closer to a vital national goal. We will 
start building nuclear powerplants again by the end of this decade.
    Meeting the needs of our growing economy also means expanding our 
domestic production of oil and natural gas, which are vital fuels for 
transportation and electricity and manufacturing. The energy bill makes 
practical reforms to the oil and gas permitting process to encourage new 
exploration in environmentally sensitive ways.
    The bill authorizes research into the prospects of unlocking vast 
amounts of now--energy now trapped in shale and tar sands. It provides 
incentives for oil refineries to expand their capacity, and that's 
consumer-friendly. The more supply, the more reliable your gasoline will 
be and the more--less pressure on price.
    The bill includes tax incentives to encourage new construction of 
natural gas pipelines. It clarifies Federal authority to site new 
receiving terminals for liquified natural gas, so that consumers across 
this Nation can benefit from more affordable, clean-burning natural gas.
    Thirdly, the bill I sign today will help diversify our energy supply 
by promoting alternative and renewable energy sources. The bill extends 
tax credits for wind, biomass, landfill gas, and other renewable 
electricity sources. The bill offers new incentives to promote clean, 
renewable geothermal energy. It creates a new tax credit for residential 
solar power systems. And by developing these innovative technologies, we 
can keep the lights running while protecting the environment and using 
energy produced right here at home. When you hear us talking about less 
dependence on foreign sources of energy, one of the ways to become less 
dependent is to enhance the use of renewable sources of energy.

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    The bill also will lead to a greater diversity of fuels for cars and 
trucks. The bill includes tax incentives for producers of ethanol and 
biodiesel. The bill includes a flexible, cost-effective renewable fuel 
standard that will double the amount of ethanol and biodiesel in our 
fuel supply over the next 7 years. Using ethanol and biodiesel will 
leave our air cleaner. And every time we use a home-grown fuel, 
particularly these, we're going to be helping our farmers and, at the 
same time, be less dependent on foreign sources of energy.
    I used to like to kid, but I really wasn't kidding when I said, 
``Some day a President is going to pick up the crop report''--
[laughter]--``and they're going to say, we're growing a lot of corn, 
and--or soybeans--and the first thing that's going to pop in the 
President's mind is, we're less dependent on foreign sources of 
energy.'' It makes sense to promote ethanol and biodiesel.
    The bill I sign today also includes strong support for hydrogen fuel 
technology. When hydrogen is used in a fuel cell, it can power consumer 
products from computers to cell phones to cars that emit pure water 
instead of exhaust fumes. I laid out a hydrogen fuel initiative, and I 
want to thank the Members of Congress for adding to the momentum of this 
initiative through this energy bill. The goal of the research and 
development for hydrogen-powered automobiles is to make it possible for 
today's children to take their driver's test in a pollution-free car.
    Fourth, the energy bill will help ensure that consumers receive 
electricity over dependable modern infrastructure. The bill removes 
outdated obstacles to investment in electricity transmission lines in 
generating facilities. The bill corrects the provision of the law that 
made electric reliability standards optional instead of mandatory. Most 
of you probably consider it mandatory that the lights come on when you 
flip a switch. [Laughter] Now the utility companies will have to 
consider it mandatory as well. [Laughter]
    To keep local disputes from causing national problems, the bill 
gives Federal officials the authority to select sites for new 
powerlines. We have a modern interstate grid for our phone line and our 
highways. With this bill, America can start building a modern 21st 
century electricity grid as well.
    The bill I sign today is a critical first step. It's a first step 
toward a more affordable and reliable energy future for the American 
citizens. This bill is not going to solve our energy challenges 
overnight. Most of the serious problems, such as high gasoline costs or 
the rising dependence on foreign oil, have developed over decades. It's 
going to take years of focused effort to alleviate those problems. But 
in about 2 minutes, we're going to have a strategy that will help us do 
    And as we work to solve our energy dependence--dependency, we've got 
to remember that the market for energy is global, and America is not the 
only large consumer of hydrocarbons. As the economies of nations like 
India and China grow rapidly, their demand for energy is growing rapidly 
as well. It's in our interest to help these expanding energy users 
become more efficient, less dependent on hydrocarbons. You see, by 
helping them achieve these goals, it will take pressure off the global 
supply, and it will help take pressure off price for American consumers.
    And so, last month, I joined with the leaders of India and China and 
Australia and Japan and South Korea to create a new Asia Pacific 
Partnership on Clean Development. This is an innovative program which is 
authorized by this energy bill. And through it, our goal is to spread 
the use of clean, efficient energy technologies throughout the Pacific 
    After years of debate and division, Congress passed a good bill. 
It's my honor to have come to the great State of New Mexico to sign it. 
I'm confident that one day Americans will look back on this bill as a 
vital step toward a more secure and more

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prosperous nation that is less dependent on foreign sources of energy.
    Thank you for coming.

Note: The President spoke at 11:26 a.m. in the Schiff Auditorium at the 
Sandia National Laboratory. In his remarks, he referred to Thomas O. 
Hunter, president, Sandia Corp., and director, Sandia National 
Laboratories. H.R. 6, approved August 8, was assigned Public Law No.