"In other words, there's a lot of things happening. But you just can't have instant technology," Bush added. "It takes a while for technologies to come on the market. If we could get rid of our addiction of oil overnight, of course, I would do that. But it takes a while for these ethanols and these cellulosic ethanols and the new batteries and the new solar energy-type devices to become, you know, prevalent."
When Bush was re-elected more than two years ago, he spoke confidently of his "political capital," but now he faces a different reality, with Democrats controlling Congress and all-time low approval ratings for his administration. Still, he believes he has some political capital left.
"I think the president's always got a pretty loud microphone and is able to get things done," he said. "But no question the dynamic has changed and that the Congress has changed and that I'm going to be dealing with new leadership.
"I've still got my friends in the Republican Party with whom I will work, but I've got a new group of leaders to work with, the speaker and the leader of the Senate. I'm looking forward to doing the best I can to work with them for the good of the country," Bush added.
He believes they can come up with a spending program to balance the budget "within five years."
"I'll be presenting that budget next week," he said. "Hopefully, you know, they're not going to try to raise taxes. I'm going to work hard to make sure they don't. I've got a veto that will prevent them from raising taxes. … I think it will hurt the economy."
He laid out a new energy and health care plan during his recent State of the Union address, which immediately faced scrutiny in Congress.
"Well, if people all of a sudden say -- if their attitude is, 'George Bush is for it, I'm against it,' if that's what you're saying, that's the kind of attitude the American people don't really want to see," he said.
"I've laid out a good idea, and I would hope that the leadership in the Congress will take a good look at it. There's a lot people who think it's a good idea and a lot of people who strongly support it. It's the best way, in my judgment, to make sure that medicine remains in private hands and that the main decider for health care decisions is the doc and the patient, not insurance companies or the government," he said.
"We'll see … it will be an interesting debate," Bush said.