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Congressman Bartlett discusses peak oil with President Bush

This afternoon, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett enjoyed an extensive discussion about peak oil with President George W. Bush at the White House. Congressman Bartlett declined to discuss or characterize any of his private conversation with the President, but said that he was very happy about the meeting.

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has discussed global peak oil extensively in the past seven weeks including six Special Order speeches. Copies of the text and charts are posted on Congressman Bartlett’s website at www.bartlett.house.gov.

Congressman Bartlett was a guest on a one-half hour program, E&E TV’s “On Point,” available via the Internet in flash video format. It was distributed on Monday, April 18. Host Colin Sullivan, Editor of Environment and Energy Daily, moderated the discussion about peak oil with Congressman Bartlett and Mr. Roger Diwan, Managing Director, Markets and Countries Group, PFC Energy. A transcript can be downloaded from E&E TV’s website at www.eande.tv/main/?date=041805.

Congressman Bartlett said, “America has only 2 percent of the world's known oil reserves.” We produce 8 percent and consume 25 percent of the oil produced worldwide and import close to 2/3 of the oil we use. We imported 1/3 at the time of the Arab Oil embargo. Oil production in the U.S. peaked in 1970 and has declined every year since then. Alaska and Gulf of Mexico oil slowed, but haven’t and can’t change that trend. Energy experts agree that America can never produce enough oil domestically to meet our current or future demand.”

“Peak oil is not unique to America,” added Congressman Bartlett. “There is a consensus among energy experts that global peak oil will occur and is fast approaching. Forty percent of the world’s oil is shipped through the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf that is vulnerable to terrorist attacks. China increased its oil imports 25 percent last year. China is investing in oil projects around the globe and building a blue water navy to secure oil shipping lanes.”

Congressman Bartlett said, “The United States is the most efficient and productive country in the world. We do lead the world. We cut our use of energy per $1 of GDP by 50 percent since the early 70’s. That’s really good. However, with only 2 percent of reserves and 8 percent of production, we’re depleting our reserves four times faster than the rest of the world. American needs a national energy policy and a program on a scale of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II to prevent or mitigate the consequences of global peak oil. Doing nothing or doing too little too late will lead to a global economic and geopolitical tsunami with potentially devastating ramifications.”

Editorial Notes: Congressman Bartlett, a conservative Republican from Maryland, has been the only member of Congress to speak out about peak oil. Energy Bulletin has published Bartlett's talks and interviews, including the most recent talk on May 11. Search the EB site for more. -BA

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