Energy Symposium Held Without ‘Fossil Fuelers’
The non-partisan Reform Institute’s National Energy Symposium drew more than 45 corporate executives, policymakers and industry experts to Washington, D.C., Tuesday to openly discuss the nation’s energy, environmental and economic challenges. It appears, however, that representatives of the nation’s largest oil and natural gas exploration and production firms (a.k.a., the “fossil fuelers”) were strangely missing from the event.
Still, three consensus themes (below) emerged from the symposium, according to a news release today, offering hope that something good CAN come out of the nation’s capitol:
1. President Barack Obama should make reducing reliance on foreign energy a top national security, economic, and environmental priority;
2. Successful energy reform must balance economic prosperity and environmental progress; and
3. The are no “silver bullets” and piece meal approaches to energy policy will fall short; comprehensive energy reform fueled by collaboration and bipartisan leadership is the only viable approach.
Hopefully, Obama Administration officials will pay attention to those themes and, in addition, place value upon two crucial recommendations contained in a report issued by the institute last week:
1. Pursue all options with respect to oil and natural gas exploration. The U.S. should at the very least maintain the status quo with respect to oil production. Alternative sources of energy likely will take at least a decade to be integrated into the electrical and transportation sectors. Domestic oil production should serve as a bridge to those alternatives. For these reasons, Congress should oppose any drilling moratoria; and
2. Exploration in ANWR should be part of any comprehensive energy plan that sets the U.S. on a clear path towards renewable energy while using domestic oil production to bridge the gap between our present perilous position and a renewable future.
In addition, I hope that Cecilia Martinez, executive director of the institute, will expand her organization’s commitment to comprehensive energy by including leaders from the fossil fuels community. Neither the symposium agenda nor the aforementioned report includes any mention of participation by representatives from either the American Petroleum Institute, which represents some 400 oil and gas companies, or from any of the nation’s largest oil and gas exploration and production firms.