Last week on Wednesday evening, US President George W Bush tackled America’s addiction to oil during his seventh State of the Union address.
In order to decrease this addiction, he proposed to increase the mileage standards for both cars and light trucks.
This decision was taken in order to decrease by 20 percent in the next years the global oil consumption.
During this speech, President Bush recognised for the first time that there is a link between energy and climate. According to the White House, this decision will provide an effect similar on the greenhouse gases to take 14 millions cars and trucks off the roads.
But the main information from this speech is President Bush decision to increase biofuels use. This is done not to decrease the threat of climate change, but to decrease energy dependence from foreign countries. President Bush would like his country to use 35 billion gallons (132 billions liters) of biofuels by year 2017. This will replace 15 percent of the projected gasoline consumption in that year.
Meanwhile, Democrats are sceptical on these decisions and many think that they will have almost no effect on climate change, would lead to an increase in food prices (biofuels mean fuels made from crops… so there would be less crops for food) and finally would be a difficult goal to reach.
Finally, this increase on biofuels production have not been assessed on the effects they would have on nature. Increasing biofuels production would require an increase in fertilizers use, and thus in water and wildlife pollution.
To conclude, I would like to say that it is indeed quite good news that President Bush begins to tackle the energy scarcity situation. However, there will have much much more to do if we want to finally and completely wipe out the threats of climate change and energy scarcity. To this day, the US Federal government still did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which is considered as the first step on the fight against climate change.
Sources : Le Figaro and IHT.com