Bush: proposal on Refineries to increase domestic energy production

President Bush Wednesday will propose new steps to increase domestic energy production, including incentives that could result in construction of nuclear-power plants and building oil refineries on abandoned military bases.

Details of Bush's proposals were outlined in a conference call with reporters Tuesday night by three administration officials with direct knowledge of a speech Bush will deliver today to a Small Business Administration conference. The White House refused to allow the officials to be identified because it's common practice for such sessions to be conducted anonymously, reports the USA Today.

According to Reuters, in a speech, Bush will also propose giving federal regulators the lead authority to decide where to locate terminals for processing imported &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/18/89/356/13380_gas.html ' target=_blank>natural gas. States have increasingly been taking the lead on this issue.

And the president will propose adding vehicles that use clean-burning diesel fuel to the list of automobiles eligible for $2.5 billion in tax credits over 10 years to encourage further use of this technology. Other eligible vehicles are hybrids powered by gasoline and electricity and fuel-cell vehicles.

Bush met Saudi Crown &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/usa/2002/02/28/26692.html ' target=_blank>Prince Abdullah at his Texas ranch on Monday but reached no agreement that would lower gasoline prices in the near term.

Energy legislation is moving on Capitol Hill. The House of Representatives has passed a version, while the Senate will begin debate next month. Administration officials want to work with congressional leaders to include Bush's proposals. Speaking to small business leaders on Wednesday, Bush will call on federal agencies to encourage construction of new oil refineries at the sites of former military bases closed in recent years.

The agencies would work with states, local communities and potential investors to encourage the use of the sites, the administration officials said.

The lack of adequate refining capacity is frequently cited by experts as one reason why &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/economics/2002/08/09/34207.html ' target=_blank>gasoline prices have surged dramatically in recent years. No new refineries have been built in recent years even though the demand for gasoline has risen.

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