Under pressure over gas prices, Bush unveils new energy ideas
Under pressure over rising gas prices, President Bush has unveiled a plan to encourage new oil refineries by locating them at former military bases.
He also wants to speed construction of nuclear power plants and encourage the use of energy-efficient vehicles. But speaking to a small business conference, the president said he's powerless to stem rising gas prices in the short term.
He said, "If I could, I would." It was Bush's second energy speech in a week -- reflecting White House concern that painful prices at the pump are hurting Bush politically. America hasn't built a new refinery or nuclear power plant for three decades. But Bush says they're both needed to help boost energy supplies. However, Democrats are dismissing Bush's proposals as "half measures."
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says they'll do little to fix the immediate problem -- and nothing to "break the stranglehold" that foreign oil producers have.