President Bush on Tuesday called for a cutback in the use of natural gas for power generation in order to reduce the “huge pressure” on domestic gas supply and prices.

“We’ve been using a lot of natural gas for the generation of electricity. And we got to change that. Natural gas is important to manufacturing; it’s important for fertilizers. But to use it for electricity is causing enormous pressure,” the president told employees of the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO, and state lawmakers.

Another “way to [alleviate] the pressure on price is to expand the use of liquefied natural gas through terminals,” Bush said during his swing through several states to discuss his proposals to wean the U.S. off of its oil reliance.

He gave high marks to Congress for “passing new siting rights in the energy bill that will enable us to have more terminals…to receive liquefied natural gas from parts of the world that can produce it cheaply, and then ship it to the United States.”

Bush also called for the use of more coal to tame natural gas prices. “We believe, by 2015, we’ll have developed the first zero-emission, coal-fired electricity plant. We’re making progress. We’re spending money; research is good,” he said.

“When you hear people say coal, it causes people to shudder because coal [is] hard to burn. But [we’re] spending about $2 billion over a 10-year period to develop clean coal technologies.” Bush noted the technology was critical because the U.S. has 250 years worth of coal reserves.

Moreover, “we’ve got to use nuclear power more effectively and efficiently. We haven’t built a plant since the 1970s,” the president said. He stressed the need for more solar and wind technologies to power homes in the future as well.

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