cwufbqbuexuscbseux

Sound Energy Policy Focuses on Future

Speaker: Mike Huckabee, Governor - Arkansas

Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee stressed that America needs a sound energy policy focused on the future.

"No one here needs to be reminded of how vulnerable our country is to a disruption of our oil and natural gas supplies," he said, "but what are the problems we face in the next few years?

Huckabee suggested three areas of concern.

"I think we all agree that the immediate danger we face is seeing another terrorist attack on our nation," he said. "A successful attack on our energy infrastructure would have devastating, catastrophic effects on our economy, not to mention the potential human toll.

"We cannot afford for something of a catastrophic nature to happen to our energy industry."

The second issue is instability in the Middle East and its impact on America's petroleum supply. The Energy Information Administration estimates the United States imports 56 percent of its oil supplies, he said, — and by 2020 that figure will swell to 62 percent.

Please log in to read the full article

Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee stressed that America needs a sound energy policy focused on the future.

"No one here needs to be reminded of how vulnerable our country is to a disruption of our oil and natural gas supplies," he said, "but what are the problems we face in the next few years?

Huckabee suggested three areas of concern.

"I think we all agree that the immediate danger we face is seeing another terrorist attack on our nation," he said. "A successful attack on our energy infrastructure would have devastating, catastrophic effects on our economy, not to mention the potential human toll.

"We cannot afford for something of a catastrophic nature to happen to our energy industry."

The second issue is instability in the Middle East and its impact on America's petroleum supply. The Energy Information Administration estimates the United States imports 56 percent of its oil supplies, he said, — and by 2020 that figure will swell to 62 percent.

The third problem is energy consumption, which is outpacing production. Since the 1970s, energy production has grown only 14 percent, but consumption is up over 30 percent. The EIA predicts that the nation's total energy consumption over the next 20 years will increase by 32 percent.

The agency also predicts that in the next 20 years petroleum use will grow by 33 percent and natural gas use will swell by 50 percent, Huckabee said.

"That's the bad news. The really bad news is that in spite of all these increases in consumption, domestic oil production may actually drop in the next 20 years without a change in policy," he said.

"We ought to know from experience that the federal government alone is not the ultimate solution, although federal policy is important," he continued.

He referred to a report released several years ago by the IOGCC that outlined many of the nation's energy concerns and proposed both a national energy policy and a variety of state-led solutions.

"The concerns expressed in that report are as valid now as they were a few years ago," he said. "I'm glad the president has fulfilled one of the report's primary recommendations — that we adopt a national energy policy. The president and vice president have crafted a policy that is agreeable to the IOGCC's position. I hope that Congress will continue to support it, but we must understand that the battle is far from over and we have to make our voices heard on this issue in Washington and throughout the nation."

Huckabee said the federal government should not be the sole solution for our energy policy. There is plenty the states and industry should work toward, including his "Four E" suggestions:

Educating the public.

"Americans must understand the true costs and consequences of our ever-increasing reliance on imported energy," he said, noting:

  • The risk to U.S. servicemen and women who are keeping the world's sea lanes open so oil can be transported.
  • The environmental costs of oil exploration and production in countries with little or no environmental regulations.
  • The contribution to the U.S. trade imbalance from oil imports.
  • The enormous impact our oil needs make on foreign policy.

Expansion of research efforts.

"Federal and state resources should be leveraged to encourage public and private research to recover and more efficiently find our own reserves," he said. "The systematic demise of our major domestic oil companies has led to a crisis in research and development. The billions spent on questionable research into renewable energy could be better directed to squeezing more oil and gas from our reservoirs and lowering finding costs.

Exploration.

An important step in that direction is re-examining federal and state policies on providing incentives for domestic exploration and production.

"We know that incentives work," he said. "IOGCC studies have consistently found that correctly designed incentives pay for themselves many times over. We need to look at expanding marginal well incentives, coalbed methane incentives and non-conventional source incentives, such as for tight sands or shale gas.

"We must work to eliminate redundant or unnecessary federal and state regulation."

Huckabee also advocated accessing additional public lands.

"Specifically, Congress needs to step up to the plate and allow production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," he said. "I hope that all of you will do what you can to encourage the Senate to take this common sense step."

Efficiency.

The United States needs to make wise decisions about fuel choices and encourage energy efficiency. One step in that effort is to identify and eliminate regulatory and infrastructure barriers to the use of the plentiful domestic natural gas reserves.

"I'm convinced we can implement all of these solutions," Huckabee said. "I'm also convinced we must do so to plan for the future."

cwufbqbuexuscbseux

You may also be interested in ...