Ethanol Gets Less Attention in Bush's State of the Union Address

by: Konrad Imielinski

In his 2005 State of the Union Address, President Bush stated that there is "strong funding for...ethanol." In his 2006 Address, he revealed his plan to make ethanol "practical and competitive within six years" after he famously stated "America is addicted to oil." It was this announcement that established ethanol as an alternative energy powerhouse as ethanol stocks immediately bubbled to new highs.

In his 2007 Address, Bush announced that "we must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol, using everything from wood chips to grasses, to agricultural wastes" in hope of "reducing gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent in the next 10 years."

This year, however, President Bush didn't specifically acknowledge ethanol in his State of the Union Address; the first time since 2004.

In his shorter-than-usual monologue on the environment, he simply reiterated what we had already heard in his previous addresses. Overall, his speech lacked any major change in our energy policy. Ethanol investors should not expect a big boost from Bush's address.

The President did manage, however, to propose a $2 billion fund that would be disbursed over the next three years to help developing nations purchase alternative energy technologies. This is a small amount, however, considering China alone is investing over $100 billion a year on alternatives such as coal-fired electricity.

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