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Drivers Face `Tough Summer,' Bush Says
Visiting California on Earth Day, the president laments gas prices while promoting biofuel and `wise' refinery growth.
By James Gerstenzang and John O'Dell, Times Staff Writers
April 23, 2006

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — President Bush, who has never had easy relations with environmentalists, combined his oft-stated interest in using technology to reduce the nation's energy problems with the surge in gasoline prices to deliver an Earth Day declaration on Saturday that warned the nation it would face "a tough summer" because gasoline supplies are already tight.

Speaking in the spotless garage in an industrial park where scientists and technicians are working to develop and maintain cars, buses and trucks that can run on nonpolluting, nonfossil-fuel technology, the president, for the second day in a row, expressed concern about the impact of steadily rising gasoline prices.

"When that price of gasoline goes up," he said, "it hurts working people. It hurts our small businesses."

But Bush offered no short-term solutions as he sought to draw attention to what he said were signs of progress in cleaning up the nation's air, water and land and as he encouraged work on what experts agree is at best a long-term answer: the development of engines that run on mixes of gasoline and fuel from crops, or on electricity created by hydrogen fuel cells.,0,4316500.story?coll=la-home-headlines
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