Most automakers - BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Audi, DCX - were silent about the SOTU, but Toyota Motor North America's group vice president, government and industry affairs Josephine Cooper released a one-paragraph statement: "The President has proposed an ambitious vision to promote fuel conservation and strengthen our nation's energy security. Toyota supports the direction of these goals and looks forward to actively working with the Administration, Congress and all stakeholders toward achieving viable solutions. Toyota's accomplishments in advanced technologies are already helping move toward these goals. Hybrids remain at the core of our strategy for advanced technology vehicles because they are a fundamental technology that can be teamed with a wide range of other promising fuels and technologies, such as high-tech gas engines, clean diesel, bio-diesel, ethanol, or plug-in hybrid technology, to maximize their efficiency. As a leader in hybrid technology, and through our research today and our products tomorrow, Toyota will continue to play a leadership role in establishing a new generation of technologies for the future."
Brian Wynne, the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) president said, "We are pleased that the President recognizes the challenges created by dependence on oil. We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to ensure that the benefits of electric drive in efficiency and fuel diversity are maximized in any effort to break America' s oil addiction. The Department of Energy's announcement of new funds for plug-in hybrid battery development is a promising step in the right direction." As readers of this site will remember, the EDTA held their annual conference just blocks from Congress last fall to be close to legislators who control government funding for electric drive research.
There's more - from the NBB, the Democratic Party, DuPont, etc. - after the jump.
The National Biodiesel Board didn't issue a statement per se, but the group did call Bush's statement on alternative fuels " dramatic." I don't think I'd go that far, but hey. The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, which you would really think would respond to the President's speech, was strangely silent. Ethanol-maker Genencor, though, did say it, " fully supports President George Bush's call to increase usage of ethanol to over 35 billion gallons by 2017" (See earlier ABG stories on Genencor here and here).
Caterpillar, known 'round these parts for their work with Firefly batteries, says it is "encouraged" by what Bush said and agrees that "abundant supplies of coal will produce the majority of this country's energy for years to come." No kidding, but is that a good thing?
We haven't written about DuPont in a while (since they announced their new ethanol from corn stover process back in October). But, since the DuPont facility in Delaware where researchers are working on advanced biofuels like biobutanol was Bush first visit after Tuesday night's speech, let's see what they think of the Prez's SOTU ideas. "President Bush's visit is a strong testament to the fact that DuPont employees around the world are creating sustainable solutions to the world's greatest challenges." Biobutanol, the forgotten child of biofuels, has a lot of potential, so Bush could've picked a worse place to go to further his SOTU message.
As for the Democratic response to the SOTU, Senator Jim Webb, speaking just after the President ended his speech, said, in part, "This is the seventh time the President has mentioned energy independence in his state of the union message, but for the first time this exchange is taking place in a Congress led by the Democratic Party. We are looking for affirmative solutions that will strengthen our nation by freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil, and spurring a wave of entrepreneurial growth in the form of alternate energy programs. We look forward to working with the President and his party to bring about these changes." Perhaps it'll be more like working against the President, if we learn from history. A few folks, like the Campaign for America's Future and Howard Dean, have been putting things into perspective. Dean's response says that, "President Bush's 2007 budget provided paltry amounts of money for alternative and renewable energy, far less than the $2 billion the oil and gas industry received in 2007 tax breaks. This is on top of flat funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy research and development." Also, "By 2005, the Federal government was to have reduced its petroleum consumption by 20 percent below 1999 levels. Instead, consumption had increased by 1.3 percent." As usual, Devilstower has the goods on the nonsense coming from Bush, this time focused on the SOTU.
[Source: All the companies and groups linked to, the White House]