In 2001, Then-White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer was asked if the Bush administration had plans to reduce energy consumption. “That’s a big no. The President believes that it’s an American way of life,” Mr. Fleischer said. Interesting how a couple of hurricanes and rising oil prices can rapidly make an administration change its mind.
The Gadsden Times reports that President Bush is encouraging individuals to cut back on auto trips. “We can all pitch in. People just need to recognize that the storms have caused disruption,” Mr. Bush stated. He also added that if Americans can avoid going “on a trip that’s not essential, that would be helpful.” Mr. Bush did not go as far as to state that we need to encourage more compact and walkable growth, however, the new Federal transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU has included some positive measures toward these initiatives (see:“AmericaBikes.org”:http://www.americabikes.org/ ).
This is a bold statement by the President, although it should be noted that the Bush administration claims that this has been their policy from day one. Clearly that has not been the case, but I think this is a step in the right direction. Hopefully we can encourage big business in the U.S. to establish more sustainable living policies because we cannot continue at our current pace of consumption.