Bodman: Alternative Energy Sources Are Key to Future

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said President Bush’s competitiveness agenda will require more government-paid researchers to do work on several fronts to reduce Americans’ dependence on oil.

Bush wants Congress to boost spending on offices of science in the Departments of Commerce and Energy. He also wants to add 2,600 new researchers to the government payroll by fiscal 2007.

“Keeping America competitive also requires abundant and affordable energy,” Bodman said. He added that the United States need to invest in clean and reliable energy solutions.

Among the ideas Bodman outlined: greater reliance on solar power (work is already under way on turning solar into electric power and solar into fuels), more research into fusion power, and new efforts on biofuels, which come from plant cells.

Bodman called these approaches “doable, but difficult.”

He added that Congress ought not hamper the administration’s efforts by mandating programas.