President Bush is on his seventh trip to the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina hit a month ago. The visit comes even as he encourages Americans to save gas and to cut out unnecessary travel. He says federal employees will do the same.
The president's spokesman says this trip is, in fact, essential so the president can get a look at recovery efforts.
Spokesman Scott McClellan says the president's motorcade of gas-guzzling vans and SUVs is being shortened, but it's hard to make similar savings on Air Force One.
The Air Force recently estimated that fuel costs on the presidential aircraft have risen past $6,000 an hour, up from just under $4,000 in the last budget year.