Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative

President Bush put emphasis on coal fired power plants in his State of the Union Address, saying they are part of the solution for ending what he calls America's addiction to imported oil.

A new coal plant is part of the future around here. President Bush says cleaner coal fired power plants will help America become more energy independent.

With a coal plant getting built locally you can imagine people in our area have a few opinions on the president's agenda.

President Bush said, "To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants; revolutionary solar and wined technologies; and clean, safe nuclear energy."

President Bush's advanced energy initiative is calling for a 22 percent increase in clean-energy research, promising to help wean America from its dependency on imported oil.

Fallyn Goldstein, a college student, said, "How is that going to happen? Is it at a cost? Is it feasible? I think it's great idea if it works out."

President Bush says since 2001, the government has spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, more reliable alternative energy sources.

A coal-fired power plant similar to one in Jacksonville is slated to be built in Taylor County. Plant opponents cast doubt on the president's plan.

Holly Binns, Field Director for Florida PIRG says, "Coal is always going to be a dirty and dangerous energy source. To get to the coal, we literally have to blow up the tops of mountains and pollute hundreds of streams and valleys below. To burn coal, you end up with some very dangerous products, including mercury."

Dewayne Baxley, a Tallahassee resident, adds, "I think it may be a viable option, but will it be cost effective? I'm not sure. We're hopeful. I hope for something better to come along."

Another part of President Bush's advanced energy initiative is a change in powering automobiles. He plans to increase research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen.