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U.S. energy - Jan 11

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Full Committee Hearing: Geopolitics of Oil

U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources

The purpose of the hearing is to receive testimony on the geopolitics of oil and its implications for U.S. economic and national security.

View Archive Webcast:
http://energy.senate.gov/public/_files/energy011007.ram

Panel 1
Dr. Fatih Birol - Chief Economist, International Energy Agency
Ms. Linda Stuntz - Partner, Stuntz, Davis & Staffier, P.C.
Dr. Robert Hormats - Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs (International)
Gen. Charles Wald - Former Deputy Commander, US European Command
Dr. Flynt Leverett - Director, Geopolitics of Energy Initiative, New America Foundation
(10 Jan 2007)
Cynus, commenting at TOD, reported the link to the webcast.
Related coverage:
The Rise of “The Axis of Oil”-Big Trouble for the United States at Global Public Media
Oil keeps U.S. vulnerable, lawmakers told (Reuters; see excerpt following).


Oil keeps U.S. vulnerable, lawmakers told

Chris Baltimore, Reuters
The United States' role as dominant global military and economic power hinges on secure access to crude oil, but U.S. politicians who call for "energy independence" are shouting into the void, experts told a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday.

The U.S. economy will continue to rely on crude oil imports -- which currently account for more than half the nation's oil consumption -- panelists said at a hearing before the Senate Energy Committee on global oil supplies.
(10 Jan 2007)


The Green Gripe With Obama: Liquefied Coal Is Still . . . Coal.

Elizabeth Williamson, Washington Post
Who, but who, would soil the environmental reputation of Barack Obama?

The Democratic senator from Illinois gets stellar marks from greens. Just a few months ago he was calling global warming "real," saying: "It is here. . . . We couldn't just keep burning fossil fuels and contribute to the changing atmosphere without consequence."

So why then, environmentalists ask, is Obama backing a law supporting the expanded use of coal, whose emissions are cooking the globe? It seems the answer is twofold: his interest in energy independence -- and his interest in downstate Illinois, where the senator's green tinge makes the coal industry queasy.

The coal industry praises Obama's reintroduction, with Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), of the Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007 last week, which would provide incentives for research and plant construction. The industry says the technology, which converts coal into diesel engine fuel, would reduce America's dependence on foreign oil through a new, home-mined fuel that burns as cleanly as gasoline.
(10 Jan 2007)


State energy czar says the Bush must look beyond diesel

Dustin Solberg, Bristol Bay Times (Alaska)
For this official, energy efficiency begins at home.
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As the state's first-ever energy policy adviser, Anderson has assumed the mantle of energy czar of the Alaska Bush. The growing energy crisis is "public enemy number one," he said. Former Gov. Frank Murkowski appointed Anderson to the energy post in October.

As energy czar, he is concerned with rethinking energy. Period. Conservation is central to his solution, which includes searching for alternative energy sources such as wind and geothermal. Even nuclear energy isn't out of the question, he said. These are all intended to achieve one thing: weaning villages from diesel -- the rustic elixir of rural Alaska.

"I know people get nervous when they hear me say that, but we've got to do that," he said.

...He acknowledges that outlying villages have even higher energy costs. People with less money spend a disproportionate amount of their earnings on their heating bill. The cost of living in Dillingham has even prompted him and his wife, Dorothy, to question where they choose to live.

"It becomes very attractive to think about moving to Anchorage," he said.

Decisions such as these are under consideration all across the state. Underlying a discord present in rural communities, he said, is the high cost of energy. Rural Alaskans feel energy's pinch more than their Railbelt cousins. The nation as a whole will face similar energy questions, he said, because Americans in the future will never pay energy bills as inexpensive as those they're paying today.
(10 Jan 2007)

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