Recon

Mixed signals on energy

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


A week after President Bush declared we’re “addicted to oil” in his State of the Union address, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory laid off 32 employees due to a $28 million budget shortfall. ••• Two weeks later, Bush visited the lab and restored $5 million in funding, explaining, “I recognize that there has been some interesting mixed signals.” ••• Bush’s energy plan aims to replace 30% of gasoline use with ethanol by 2030. ••• Archer Daniels Midland, the world’s largest producer of ethanol from corn, has given more than $3 million to politicians since 2000. ••• A recent Cornell study found that refining corn-based ethanol burns 29% more fossil-fuel energy than the amount of energy that is produced. ••• In 2005, oil companies received $2 billion in tax credits for adding ethanol to their gasoline. ••• The average new car sold in the U.S. is 5% less fuel efficient than a car made in the late ’80s. ••• Raising fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon would save more oil by 2017 than the total projected output of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. ••• Bush has proposed an 11% budget cut for a program to reduce the federal government’s energy use. ••• Less than 2% of oil is used for generating electricity; coal provides half of the nation’s electric power. ••• While pledging to invest more in “zero-emission coal-fired plants,” Bush has proposed slashing overall funding for clean coal by 12%. ••• In 2001, the administration weakened efficiency standards for air conditioners, which could have saved as much energy as that produced by 60 power plants over the next 25 years. ••• When asked that same year whether our voracious energy appetite was to blame for high gas prices, then-White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, “That’s a big no…the American way of life is a blessed one.”

MAY/JUNE 2006 | MOTHER JONES 23

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate