WASHINGTON -- President Bush held a press conference today to announce a new energy initiative. At the heart of the initiative is an unprecedented and highly controversial proposal aimed at reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, as well as increasing domestic availability of other fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. The proposal entails the mass killing and burial of plants and animals throughout the country in order to expedite their transformation into fossil fuels, which are derived from decayed organic matter, that is, matter that once made up living organisms.
"America's oil should be American oil," declared the president. "Not being subjected to the the whim and fancy of some Middle East dictator will result in improved economic stability and national security. And through the widespread yet merciful slaughter of any and all living things, we can achieve this goal."
If the plan goes through, 100% of forests would be clear cut and the trees put through wood chippers and subsequently buried hundreds of feet below ground in appropriate marine environments that promote fossil fuel formation through a complex series of steps. All animals in the United States would also be slaughtered and similarly buried, except for cats, dogs and the minimum number of chickens, pigs, and cattle deemed necessary to sustain their availability as a food resource.
"Don't ask me how a raccoon can become liquidy black stuff," said Bush, veering away from his prepared speech for a moment. "But Mother Nature says it can, and I believe her."
Bush's proposal was immediately attacked by environmental groups, and early polls suggest that the public reaction will be unfavorable.
"I am at a loss for words," said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, a well-reputed environmental organization. "We have been busy fighting Bush's proposal to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but now that has become his most environmentally friendly strategy."
Greg Powell, a biology professor at the University of California-Berkeley, said in addition to obliterating life, the plan would not even achieve its desired result: "For one thing, the process of fossil fuel formation literally takes hundreds of millions of years."
A spokesman for the administration responded by saying, "The president agrees with Dr. Powell that this groundbreaking new proposal will endlessly benefit future generations of Americans."
Some of the more conservative critics of the Bush administration support the plan, but are pessimistic, citing Bush's tendency to make sweeping, grandiose statements that he doesn't follow up on.
"I think this plan, if carried out, would make a lot of progress towards solving America's energy problem," said one pundit. "But why do I have a feeling that I am going to wake up one summer morning two years from now, walk outside, and still be surrounded by scampering squirrels and singing birds as I stand in the cool shade of a towering oak tree?"
The response of Congress was overwhelmingly negative, with only a few senators and representatives throwing their support behind the proposal, and one, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), saying it doesn't go far enough.
"Why only terminate life as we know it within our own borders?," said Inhofe. "I agree with the president that we should avoid the Middle Eat, but there are over a million caribou in Canada. That's oil waiting to happen." Inhofe added that the United States should also act quickly to secure future fossil fuels from the Amazon rain forest before the agriculture and timber industries finish clearing it. "We have an obligation to the American people to rape this valuable tract of land."
The Bush administration's last energy initiative, which fell through, included an unpopular proposal to extract energy from the hot inner core of the earth to heat homes and buildings. Critics claimed the administration knew full well this was not a viable alternative to oil or gas, and was merely posturing.