Bush Visits N.R.E.L. in Golden, CO

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President Bush was at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden this morning where he discussed his bold plan to reduce foreign oil imports from the Middle East by 75 percent over the next 20 years. The president says technology for alternative energy sources is getting better, and hopes that tax codes for research and development will lead to break-throughs in renewable energy. "In order to encourage the two-thirds of the investment in the private sector necessary to achieve national goals and objectives - one of which is to stay on the leading edge of innovation - is to have the research and development tax code a permanent part of our tax code," said President Bush.

In the president's 2007 budget proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy, he called for a 70 percent increase in spending for alternative fuel research. President Bush spoke with energy research scientists and engineers from DuPont, G.M., and N.R.E.L. today to find out where this research can take us. "I have come here today to discuss unbelievable opportunities for our country to achieve a great national goal," said the president.

One scientist Mr. Bush spoke with is Dale Gardner of N.R.E.L., who supports the hydrogen program at the U.S. Department of Energy. "What we're trying to do is by the year 2015 have proven these technologies with our partners such that industry can then say, 'We've got it from here'," said Gardner.

He also spoke with a representative from Denver's Habitat for Humanity program about energy-efficient homes and Pat Vincent of Colorado's public service company on using wind as a supplemental energy source for air conditioning units.

The National Renewable Energy Lab researches solar, hydrogen, and other sources of energy for the U.S. Department of Energy. N.R.E.L. laid-off 32 of its 930 employees two weeks ago due to federal funding cuts, but all of those employees got their jobs back yesterday.