"This country faces an ongoing threat
of an energy crisis that will only get worse if we don't take steps
soon to shore up the domestic energy inventory."
No, this is not a statement made
by a veteran geologist but one delivered by Texas democratic gubernatorial
candidate Tony Sanchez in his "Power Lunch" presentation at the
recent APPEX in Houston.
With myriad business ventures to
his credit, Sanchez drew heavily from his experiences as an oilman
to beat the drum for the oil and gas industry.
"The whole vision of the future assumes
we will continue to enjoy the benefits of plentiful energy supplies,"
he said, "but despite industry's efforts, our new discoveries and
reserves are not keeping up with actual demand."
About 25 percent of domestic oil
and gas comes from offshore production in just six states, Sanchez
noted: Alabama, Alaska, California, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Reliable estimates peg about 60 percent of the remaining U.S. domestic
hydrocarbon resources as offshore.
"Unfortunately, 600 million acres
have been locked out of exploration even though we've learned how
to discover and develop these reserves with little or no environmental
impact, and to do so safely." Sanchez said. "In fact, offshore safety
records are three times better than U.S. workers in general."
So, you ask, what is the solution
to jump-start the domestic industry toward an era of increased drilling
For starters, Sanchez has a "to-do"
list for government:
- Provide incentives to generate new prospects
to find hydrocarbons by encouraging greater use of technology
in evaluating leads and prospects.
- Revisit and strengthen incentives such as tight
- Do not hinder small companies with rules designed
for large companies.
- Establish common sense environmental rules.
- States should offer a stable climate for tax
and government spending so companies can plan ahead accordingly.
"If we are to predict the future,"
Sanchez noted, "we must create it."