CERA Chief Echoes Calls for Energy Policy

The cornerstones to build a sound energy supply and delivery foundation in the United States are flexibility, access to development, and coordinated energy policies, according to Cambridge Energy Research Associates Chairman Daniel Yergin. Speaking at the National Energy Summit sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week, Yergin warned that the country could no longer take energy for granted, and echoed calls for a strong energy policy to guarantee economic growth.

"We need as a nation to focus on energy, which has been taken for granted since the (Persian) Gulf crisis a decade ago," Yergin said. "Supply can no longer be taken for granted. A sound energy supply and delivery system is fundamental to economic growth."

The CERA chief said that natural gas "is the real swing fuel for the economy today," and because supplies are tightening, attention is being focused to develop supplies in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the growing liquefied natural gas market, Arctic gas and offshore Atlantic Canada frontiers.

"These frontier projects can be economic, but for that to happen requires a spirit of cooperation," Yergin said. "With these projects we have the potential to bring what consumers need, which is reasonable prices, and reliable, environmentally friendly energy supplies both from the frontiers and traditional resources."

Yergin also called for a streamlined permit process, with "better alignment and coordination between power development and gas supply development." He said what the country needs "is the recognition that major new natural gas development is not opposed to, but rather essential to meet overall environmental objectives, and that such development is urgent in order to keep the new economy humming and the old economy working."

Yergin also spoke of the ongoing California energy crisis, which he said could "further damage our already bruised national economy." He said the "gamble is bigger than many of the participants realize."

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