President Bush promised yesterday to “act boldly and swiftly” to address the nation”s energy problems and directed Vice President Dick Cheney to head a task force to develop an energy strategy.

Concerned that California”s power crisis could spread into other states, Bush said he wanted a plan to address both short – and long-term energy problems. He gave no clear indication of short-term policies he might be considering.

“We”re very aware … that the situation in California is beginning to affect neighboring states,” Bush said after a meeting with Cheney and Cabinet members.

Western governors are to confer this Friday in Portland, Ore., at a meeting that also will be attended by Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham.

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