When President Bush spoke to Johnson Controls employees after he rolled out the Advanced Energy Initiative in the 2006 State of the Union Address, he said some things that were hard to believe were coming out of his mouth (by his own admission it was a shock to some to hear a Texan admit that America is addicted to oil).
The foremost objective of his plan: "change the way we power our cars and trucks."
To do this he said we needed to:
"First, invest in new kinds of vehicles that require much less gasoline. It's a practical thing to do.
Secondly, find new fuels that will replace gasoline and, therefore, dependence on oil.
And, finally, develop new ways to run a car without gasoline at all."
He want on to talk up the plug in hybrid, saying "Eventually, plug-in hybrids with lithium ion batteries will be able to get 100 miles per gallon. And now all of a sudden you're beginning to see the effects of this important technology on our national security and on our economic security."
So this is old news. Who cares?
But it's interesting to mark the shift in thinking from, say, 2003, when few conservatives were publicly concerned about energy, to 2006, when Bush spoke these words, to last week, when at least two automakers announced intentions of manufacturing plug in hybrids in the near future.