WASHINGTON – Speaking at the National Small Business Conference (search) in Washington, D.C., President Bush on Wednesday laid out an energy agenda that partly focused on the importance of technology in finding alternatives to the United States' "growing dependence on foreign sources."
The president’s plan aims to:
— Lower the cost of health care through modernization of the health care system via electronic records to help spread health savings accounts.
— Create association health plans so small businesses can buy insurance at the same discount that big businesses enjoy.
— Restrain federal spending and cut the deficit in half by 2009.
— Encourage oil-producing countries to maximize their production.
— Prevent price gouging.
— Change existing law that will facilitate the nuclear plant-licensing process and provide federal risk insurance to protect those building nuclear plants against delays that are beyond their control.
— Facilitate the building and expanding of American oil refineries.
— Open areas to environmentally responsible exploration for oil and natural gas, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (search).
— Expedite the review of the 32 proposed projects to expand or build liquefied natural gas terminals, which in its liquid form enables easier transportation on tankers and storage.
— Remove pollutants from coal-fired power plants to make cleaner use of coal.
— Create and employ sources of energy such as hydrogen, which has the potential to power anything from a cell phone to a computer to an automobile and emits pure water instead of exhaust fumes.
— Develop advanced nuclear technologies that can produce hydrogen fuels for cars and trucks through the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative.
— Transform ethanol from agricultural and industrial waste into energy.
— Explore producing renewable fuel from leftover fats and vegetable oils.
— Explore renewable energy technologies such as wind, residential solar heating systems and energy produced from landfill gas and biomass.
— Use technology to enable Americans to become better conservers.
— Develop products such as energy-efficient windows that keep hot and cold air in and prevent dollars from flowing out, as well as high-efficiency light bulbs last longer than traditional ones while requiring less electricity.
— Encourage production of fuel-efficient vehicles such as hybrids, which use a combination of gasoline and electricity and enable ultra-low emissions and exceptional performance.
— Produce clean diesel technology to allow consumers to travel much farther on each gallon of fuel, without the smoke and pollution of past diesel engines.
— Provide tax credits to encourage consumers to purchase energy-efficient automobiles.
— Bring the U.S. electrical grid into the 21st century.
— Protect American families and businesses from damaging power outages.
— Build a modern electricity grid.
— Ensure other nations can take advantage of advances in technology to reduce their own demand to ease costs and help protect the environment.
Compiled by FOX News' Heather Scroope