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President Bush Visits Alternative-Fuel Plant

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President Bush Visits Alternative-Fuel Plant

Politics

President Bush Visits Alternative-Fuel Plant

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MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

And I'm Michele Norris.

The day after a State of the Union speech that stressed compromise, President Bush and the Congress went their separate ways today. The president visited a bio-fuel plant in Delaware to talk about energy. The Congress moved on to its own agenda.

BLOCK: A Senate committee passed a non-binding resolution opposing President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq. We'll hear about that coming up, but first, the president's morning away from Washington.

The war was not front and center, as we learn from NPR's David Green.

DAVID GREEN: President Bush has made it a habit the morning after his State of the Nation address to take his message on the road. Last year, it was Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. This year, he took a 22-minute flight to Wilmington.

GEORGE W: Thanks for a such warm welcome here in Delaware. I thank you for those of you who stayed up for the speech last night, thanks. If you're 60 and over, it's a little late to stay up, I understand.

GREEN: He chose Wilmington because it's home to the Dupont Experimental Station. It's a research campus renown for its research into alternative fuels. Such fuels are an important part of the energy proposal Mr. Bush laid out in his speech to Congress last night. Then he was using a teleprompter and sticking to script. This morning in Wilmington, there didn't seem to be a script and Mr. Bush was far more casual than he was in the House chamber the night before.

BUSH: I want to spend a little time talking about this energy initiative. But first I want to thank all the good folks at Dupont for, um, in really leading with your brains and as, uh, the Secretary of Energy, Sam Bodman, told me coming here, he said, when he was, uh, he was a, he's like a graduate from MIT, so he's the smart guy and I'm the president, but anyway -

GREEN: The president was speaking to a crowd of Dupont employees, and the type of research they're doing, he said, is helping to move beyond the bitter debates of the past over the Kyoto Accord, the international treaty requiring industries to cut carbon dioxide and other emissions. Mr. Bush long opposed the agreement, insisting there are other ways to clean the air.

BUSH: It's really what's begun to evolve here in America. We can get beyond the post-Kyoto - pre-Kyoto era with a post-Kyoto, uh, strategy, the center of which is new technologies.

GREEN: The president offered a list of cutting edge technology that interests him, such as wind power.

BUSH: We got a lot of wind, particularly in Washington, and uh -

GREEN: And he said he hopes there can be more hydrogen-powered vehicles someday.

BUSH: A lot of smart folks are beginning to research whether or not we can power automobiles by hydrogen. We think it's possible. But it's not going to be possible, you know, until I'm 75, which is probably 15 years from now.

GREEN: The president returned to Washington in midday and will dine tonight with the Joint Chief of Staffs of the uniform services. The Pentagon Brass will talk discuss Iraq, Afghanistan and other topics with the commander in chief, who will then make another post-State of the Union trip tomorrow to Lee's Summit, Missouri.

David Green, NPR News, Washington.

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