President Bush eases up on auto industry in State of the Union address

We'll be honest. We didn't watch President Bush's State of the Union address last night, the final one of his second presidential term. Our disinterest can probably best be measured by the fact that the address being broadcast in high definition was the only draw for us, which got us to watch for about five minutes and then it was back to American Gladiators on the DVR. Apparently we didn't miss much as it relates to the auto industry. Automotive News reports that the president called for more federal research into advanced batteries and renewable fuels for cars and trucks of the future, and that was about it. It's a far cry from last year's State of the Union where President Bush declared that the U.S. is addicted to oil and made a little weed called switchgrass famous. The heavy-handed 2006 address was likely one of the factors that led to getting a new energy bill passed in December with significantly stricter Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements for automakers. With just a year to go in his final term, however, it seems President Bush isn't pushing the auto industry as hard as he did last year. At the same time, the auto industry also seems less in need of a push in 2008. The aforementioned new energy bill seems to have taken care of that.

[Source: Automotive News, Photo by TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty]

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