Contact: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 202-456-2580
11:35 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I just had a fascinating discussion. First, I'm dealing with some entrepreneurs, people who believe that there is a market developing for automobiles that will use high technology batteries to -- for people to be able to motor back and forth from work.
I also met with some of our scientists who are working on new battery technology. I also met with people that are working to help us develop a fuel industry that will be able to have ethanol derived from produce other than corn. In other words, I'm talking with people on the leading edge of change. And the reason why I've asked them to come in to see me is because I want to make sure that the goal I set by reducing gasoline usage by 20 percent over a 10-year period is a realistic goal. I know it's a necessary goal: it's necessary for national security purposes; it's necessary for economic security purposes; and it's necessary in order to be good stewards of the environment.
My question is, is a practical goal, can we achieve that goal. And the answer is, absolutely. Now, it's going to require continued federal research dollars, and I call upon the Congress to fully fund my request for alternative sources of energy. It's going to require collaboration between the public sector and the private sector. It's going to require making sure our smartest scientists understand that this is a national priority. But I firmly believe that the goal I laid out, that Americans will use 20 percent less gasoline over the next 10 years is going to be achieved, and here's living proof of how we're going to get there.
So I want to thank my fellow citizens for joining us. We've got a Nobel Prize winner, we've got all kinds of Ph.D.s, a couple of history majors. But what we're talking about is practical and necessary for the country. So thanks for coming. Americans ought to feel optimistic about our future. We're going to be driving our cars using all kinds of different fuels other than gasoline, and using batteries that will be able to be recharged in vehicles that don't have to look like golf carts.
END 11:37 A.M. EST