Literally a lie

In his State of the Union address yesterday, President Bush spent a measly two minutes and 15 seconds on the lack of energy independence of this country. Literally, he spoke of this country’s “addiction” to imported oil, and he pledged to reduce that dependence in the next 15 years. He said this:”Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.” Literally. Most people assumed that meant he wants to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025 with other energy sources. Yet, it turns out his pronouncement has been taken too literally:

WASHINGTON – One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America’s dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn’t mean it literally.

What the president meant, they said in a conference call with reporters, was that alternative fuels could displace an amount of oil imports equivalent to most of what America is expected to import from the Middle East in 2025.

Administration backs off Bush’s vow to reduce Mideast oil imports, Wed, Feb. 01, 2006, by Kevin G. Hall, Knight Ridder Newspapers

Maybe, when the White House gives the text of Bush’s speeches to reporters, they should mark the parts that are to be taken literally, so the they don’t confuse everyone.

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