With the United States and other nations threatened by the level of "energy insecurity" in the world today, U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman on Wednesday called on "our international partners" to commit to five broad energy goals along with the United States (see related stories).
Bodman told attendees at Cambridge Energy Research Associates' (CERA) CERAWeek in Houston that "the environmental challenges posed by fossil energy use must be confronted directly" and that "free, open and competitive markets for energy trade and investment are essential to increasing energy security."
With that in mind, he said the first of the administration's energy goals is to "diversify the available supply of conventional fuels and expand production." Bodman said there needs to be more producers of conventional energy sources supplying global and regional markets. "Diversification of supply will help to defuse the risks of supply disruption from any one source," he said.
Second, Bodman said energy portfolios need to be further diversified through the expanded use of alternative and renewable energy sources. "In the power sector, enhanced use of nuclear and renewable electricity generation -- such as from solar photovoltaics, high-efficiency wind power and biomass -- which produces virtually no air pollutants or greenhouse gases would limit emissions and take pressure off the demand for natural gas."
The third goal is the increased use of energy efficiency and conservation measures. "The biggest source of immediately available 'new' energy is the energy that we waste every day," he said. "And this is as true in the United States as it is around the world."
Bodman's fourth goal is the reduction of pollution and emissions intensity of the global economy. The release of a report from the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change two weeks ago "confirms that human activity is contributing to changes in our earth's climate," Bodman said. "There is no question that this is a serious challenge."
Finally, Bodman called on the United States and its partners to work to maintain the global energy supply system and its infrastructure to improve supply security and reduce volatility. As an example, Bodman cited President Bush's plans to double the size of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by 2030 (see Daily GPI, Feb. 6).
"Agreement on these five goals will define a new coalition of countries committed to a peaceful, secure and environmentally responsible energy future," Bodman said. "And we call upon all countries -- producing and consuming nations alike -- to join us in embracing them without delay."
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