President Bush says he believes the disruptions in the U.S. energy sector caused by Hurricane Katrina are only temporary.
Mr. Bush made the statement to reporters at the White House Thursday, at a joint appearance with his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and former President Bill Clinton. President Bush has asked the two former leaders to coordinate fundraising efforts for victims of the hurricane.
The president said the government is moving forward with a comprehensive hurricane recovery strategy and plans to provide housing for refugees along the devastated U.S. Gulf Coast. He also said the federal government is working to get oil pipelines up and running.
Mr. Bush acknowledged that it is an agonizing time for people of the affected region, and he again said the first priority is to save lives there. The president urged a crackdown on lawlessness in New Orleans and elsewhere, saying there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during such an emergency.
The White House said President Bush will tour the devastated Gulf Coast region on Friday.