WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, seized on a new analysis by the Energy Information Agency (EIA) as evidence that the current strategy of promoting clean technology such as biofuels is working.
At a committee hearing to discuss the 2008 EIA Energy Outlook, Administrator Guy Caruso reported that net imports of crude oil and refined products in 2030 are projected to be about 2.4 million barrels per day lower than previously expected. In addition, the overall share of imported oil and refined products will drop from 60 percent in 2006 to 51 percent in 2022, a direct result of the Energy Investment and Security Act of 2007.
“For the first time in my memory, it now appears that our nation is finally making progress in reducing our dependence on foreign oil. The gains we are projected to make are obviously not enough, and there are many additional things we should do to ensure our energy security, but I’m nevertheless encouraged to see that the three major energy bills we have passed in the last several years will have a positive impact,” Domenici said.
EIA also projects that the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act will save 5.3 billion metric tons in energy-related CO2 emissions from 2008-2030, the equivalent of the amount that would be emitted by 71 500-MW coal plants over that time period.
“The energy bill we passed last December shows that Congress can reduce greenhouse gas emissions without harming the economy or increasing the price of energy—something which we should keep in mind as we consider upcoming climate change legislation and tax increases on domestic production that were passed in the House,” Domenici said.
Domenici continued his call for a comprehensive, three tiered approach to addressing energy challenges, which he first laid out in a series of speeches on the Senate floor last week. The Senator is calling for initiatives that increase production of domestic resources; accelerate research, development, and deployment of renewable and alternative sources of energy; and enhance our nation’s ability to conserve energy.
“EIA projects that a great deal of our domestic oil will come from the Gulf of Mexico, which we opened up for more production just two years ago. There is a lesson to be learned from that. With energy prices near all-time highs, its time to inventory our resources and produce more oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf. We shouldn’t be sitting on resources that can be used to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Domenici said.