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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Gas Guzzlers Anonymous

George W. Bush?s annual State of the Union address on Tuesday was along expected lines, more of thinking aloud on a host of issues that could make or mar his second term and his place in history.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 03:14 IST

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Hindustantimes
         

George W. Bush’s annual State of the Union address on Tuesday was along expected lines, more of thinking aloud on a host of issues that could make or mar his second term and his place in history. Despite all the setbacks, the president remains determined to stay the course in Iraq warning darkly of “danger and decline” if America failed to tackle “outside” threats. Mr Bush also urged the people of Iran to assert their freedom from their “rulers who seek to gain nuclear weapons”, and called upon the Palestinian election victors, Hamas, to “recognise Israel, disarm, reject terrorism and work for lasting peace”.

There were two issues, however, which could add to the series of embarrassments in the Bush administration’s domestic policy during the past 12 months. One, his reference to the controversial issue of human cloning: this may cause consternation in the medical community, as the president’s intention to prevent “human cloning in all its forms”, would only serve to shelve crucial research for saving millions of lives. The second issue that could raise eyebrows — if in pleasant surprise — is the resolution to break America’s ‘addiction’ to imported oil. Of course, Mr Bush may not have had a choice in this, considering it’s an important election year for the Republicans and he must reassure Americans on domestic concerns. But it’s remarkable, as it comes from an administration that never gave much thought to harnessing technology for solving the energy crisis, and was said to be a creature of Big Oil.

As the world’s largest economy, the US is not only the one most dependent on oil and gas, but also the one that wastes most of both. But it is also a formidable technology power and if it leads the move towards clean energy and reduction of dependence on oil, it could well trigger a revolutionary transformation of the world’s energy scenario.