President Reagan used the signing of an alternative motor fuels bill today to give Vice President George Bush a political boost in the key state of California.
Calling the bill “an investment in America’s future,” Reagan proclaimed the legislation “a landmark in the quest for alternative forms of energy and believe me, when you’re my age, you just love hearing about alternative sources of energy.”
The new law provides for developing and commercializing alternative fuels, particularly for motor vehicles. It includes $12 million for the project during the fiscal years from 1990 to 1993.
But in signing the legislation in a White House ceremony, Reagan was again able to direct the powers of the incumbency to help boost Bush’s presidential campaign.
“I’m particularly proud this afternoon because I remember more than four years ago, at a Cabinet meeting in January, 1984, that I asked Vice President George Bush to launch a thorough investigation of alternative energy and see what he could find.
“No, not pie-in-the-sky demonstration projects,” Reagan said, “but real world possibilities and realistic options that would keep our air clean and our nation less dependent on foreign oil.”
Reagan also noted that “for areas like Southern California,” where Bush and his Democratic rival Michael S. Dukakis both were campaigning after the debate Thursday night, “this could be a godsend.”