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Senate Fails to Reduce U.S. Dependency on Foreign Oil

For Immediate Release. April 29, 2002If the U.S. is to continue to grow economically and maintain its national security, it must become a nation that is more energy-independent by promoting policy that  encourages increased domestic energy exploration.  However, contrary to this on April 25, 2002, the Senate passed the Energy Security Policy bill  (S.517), a bill that will make the U.S. more dependent on foreign sources than it would be without the bill.

Sponsors of the measure say that it has a variety of new rules and small tax breaks that could encourage the development of energy sources like wind and solar power and ethanol and in some areas could lead to more efficient use of fuel.  However, resulting in only a 1.5 percent of the market share for these alternatives to fossil fuels has been the 25-year government campaign to promote renewable energy that has cost consumer between $30 and $40 billion.  Failing to make uncompetitive technologies competitive and unlikely to do so in the future are government subsidies and preferences for alternatives to fossil fuels.

Working to the detriment of oil and gas technologies but to the benefit of nuclear, coal, and renewable energy has been the government’s intervention in the energy marketplace over the course of the twentieth century.

“In the future, to provide for a reliable and affordable supply of energy the government should promote free market principle that continually reduces government intervention in the energy markets and promotes domestic energy exploration,” said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president of the American Voice Institute of Public Policy.  

As consumption of fossil fuels reaches record levels, its availability has been increasing.  Compared to when records started to be kept in 1948, current world oil reserves are more than 15 times greater.  Also, greater than they were three decades ago are world gas reserves which are four times greater.  And in the last two decades, world coal reserves have increased 75 percent.  Current reserves and resources estimates are a minimum, not a maximum.

Depending on technology developments, capital availability, public policies, and commodity price levels, reserves could be higher or the same at the end of the forecast period. For example, Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) using current technology could produce about 10.4 billion barrels of oil or for the next 30 years could produce 1 million barrels daily.   Furthermore, ANWR is so oil rich, it could substitute the oil that the U.S. would otherwise have to import from Saudi Arabia over the next three decades.  However, this field could be even vaster than currently predicted.

Continuing to substantially improve finding rates and individual well productivity are technological advances.  For example, off shore drilling currently reaches depths of several thousand feet which once was confined to fields several hundred feet below the ocean surface.  And drilling beyond 12, 000 feet  designs are being considered. 

“That is why the U.S. needs to encourage exploration in the Gulf of Mexico as well as other areas because the potentially of such areas is not known at this time,” added Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski.

For Interviews Contact:

Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
757-436-5927
jrutkowski@americanvoiceinstitute.org

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