Washington, DC – Congressmen Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and Tom Udall (D-NM) urged immediate action to reduce America’s dependence upon oil and address climate change while endorsing an upcoming conference sponsored by the University of Maryland, Sustainable Energy Forum 2006: Peak Oil and the Environment.”

The bi-partisan leaders of the Congressional Peak Oil caucus, along with other conference presenters environmental leaders Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute, and Dan Lashof of the Natural Resources, Defense Council (NRDC), Roger Bezdek of Management Information Services, Inc. and University of Maryland College of Chemical and Life Sciences Dean Norma Allewell, discussed the global implications and urgency that these twin challenges present.

“Its more than high prices at the pump,” said Congressman Tom Udall, who co-chairs the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus with Rep. Bartlett. “The negative consequences of our dependence on oil are becoming apparent.”

The 2006 Sustainable Energy Forum on “Peak Oil and the Environment” will feature Congressman Bartlett, Governor Brian Schweitzer (D-MT), Lester Brown (Earth Policy Institute), James Hansen (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies), Mona Sahlin (Swedish Minister for Sustainable Development), Dan Lashof (NRDC), Michael Klare (author of Blood Oil), Roger Bezdek of Management Information Services, Inc., Herman Daly (author of Beyond Growth), and more than 20 other leading thinkers on sustainability.

The conference will be held on May 7-9 at the Marvin Center, 800 21st Street NW, Washington, DC. Registration runs from 4:30 – 5:30pm on Sunday May 7th and continues Monday May 8th and Tuesday May 9th at 8:00am. Information is available at www.beyondpeak.org.

Citing recent reports from the Department of Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about the incontrovertible reality of a forthcoming peak in global oil production and its dire consequences for our oil-dependent economy, Bartlett insisted that leaders in the federal government should be galvanized by these reports and moved to educate the public and change policies to overcome the challenges of peak oil.

“We need leaders to tell the American people about our precarious energy situation,” Bartlett explained, “We are consuming non-renewable resources which will not be available to future generations.”

“We’ve been doing nothing for 25 years,” said Roger Bezdek, co-author of the February 2005 report prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy, “Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management” known as the Hirsch Report. “Mitigating peak oil will require trillions of dollars of investment in alternatives and decades of effort.”
Solutions for oil-addicted Americans were presented by Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute and Dan Lashof of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

“Utilizing advances in technology such as plug-in hybrid cars and wind turbines could combine to significantly reduce America’s dependence upon imported oil and improve the environment by substituting domestic wind-powered electricity for transportation,” said Brown.

“Biofuels, increased fuel efficiency and clean electricity is the path we need to take,” insisted Lashof, “Due to global climate change we cannot replace oil with fuels that would put out more carbon dioxide.”

These proposed solutions as well as an assessment of non-conventional oil, coal liquefaction, renewables and nuclear will be explored at the three-day conference, which is sponsored by The University of Maryland’s Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology Program. For more information and a full conference agenda visit www.beyondpeak.org