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Bush: Katrina a temporary setback for economy

Hurricane Katrina will represent a temporary setback for the U.S. economy and the energy sector, President Bush said after he met Thursday with his economic team and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
/ Source: Reuters

Hurricane Katrina will represent a temporary setback for the U.S. economy and the energy sector, President Bush said after he met Thursday with his economic team and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

“In our judgment, we view this storm as a temporary disruption that is being addressed by the government and by the private sector,” Bush told reporters.

Bush acknowledged, however, “it’s going to be hard to get gasoline to some markets.”

He also called on Americans to conserve energy, telling them: “Don’t buy gas if you don’t need it.”

Bush had lunch with Greenspan then held a briefing with his economic team to discuss the storm’s impact.

Allan Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Energy Secretary Sam Bodman and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez were at the economic briefing.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt attended in place of Treasury Secretary John Snow, who is out of town.

Bush also said he had temporarily waived the Jones Act, which will allow foreign tankers to deliver oil to U.S. ports to ease disruptions caused by the hurricane.