Bush suggests diversification away from oil at wind energy conference

DALLAS — As the U.S. Gulf Coast battled a massive oil spill, former President George W. Bush told the American Wind Energy Association conference here today, "It's in our economic interests that we diversify away from oil."

"It's in our environmental interest," the onetime Midland oilman added. "And, finally, it's in our national security interest."

Bush, speaking at the Dallas Convention Center, said he believes that his grandchildren "will be driving electric cars, powered primarily by renewable sources of energy."

“I fully believe plug-in hybrids will be a transition to electric cars,” he said. Hybrids are combination gasoline-electric vehicles.Plug-in hybrids can be recharged using standard electric outlets.

Oil and natural gas will remain vital sources of energy as the nation transitions to a new energy era, Bush said.

AWEA Executive Director Denise Bode introduced Bush as “a wonderful, wonderful supporter of wind,” who as Texas’ governor backed a state law passed in 1999 that helped pave the way for establishment of new wind generation. Texas now leads all states in installed wind generation capacity at 9,506 megawatts, more than double the generation capacity in No. 2 Iowa. If Texas were a nation, it would rank sixth in the world in wind capacity, Bush noted.

Bush said he and his wife, Laura, rely on another form of renewable energy—geothermal energy—to help power their ranch home outside Crawford in Central Texas.

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