President Bush called for the creation of a clean-energy fund for developing countries in his final State of the Union speech on Monday, but energy policy took a back seat to other international and domestic issues.
Bush reiterated many of his previous policy priorities during the speech, including a call for funding of carbon capture technologies, nuclear power, and fuels that reduce the country's reliance on oil. An excerpt from the speech:
"To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology. (Applause.) Our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil. Last year, I asked you to pass legislation to reduce oil consumption over the next decade, and you responded. Together we should take the next steps: Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. (Applause.) Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power. (Applause.) Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future. (Applause.) Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources. And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. (Applause.)
A Reuters report on Monday provided more details on the clean-energy fund, quoting a Treasury Department official.
The fund would be designed to provide fast-growing countries like China and India the means to update their energy infrastructure from older, dirtier technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.