Energy

Read what Dave Anderson has to say.

Lamborn Platform

Doug Lamborn is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of the House Committee on Natural Resources.

The website states that “the rising cost of oil necessitates an aggressive plan with meaningful solutions and immediate implementation”. It adds that “the most urgent and immediate solution is to ramp up domestic production of oil and gas right now”. There are no other specifics.

In order to address the issue it is necessary (A) to clarify the distinction between “oil supply” and “energy supply”, which are often used interchangeably; (B) to understand the global oil market, and (C) to know the specific place of the U.S. in that market. These points are outlined below.

(A) Energy and oil

 - The U.S. is abundantly endowed with energy sources, both fossil (oil, gas and coal) and renewable (sunshine and wind). In every area except oil the U.S. is more than self-sufficient.

 - U.S. internal transportation is almost entirely powered by oil-derived fuels: gasoline, diesel and kerosene. Of the U.S. oil consumption of 19 million Barrels per day (Bpd) half is imported. A shortage, excessive price rise or embargo would physically stop the country in its tracks.

 - Therefore the only urgent problem in the energy area is transportation fuel supply.

(B) The oil market

 - The global oil market is fully integrated. Oil goes where its sale is most profitable and prices are set globally by supply vs. demand.

 - Current supply is roughly 87 million BpD. Demand varies according to economic activity but could easily equal the figure above, giving rise to speculation and price spikes (as in 2008). Due to rapid economic development in India and China (and the relative energy inefficiency of these countries) demand is increasing faster (4%/yr.) than supply (1%/yr.), leading to continually rising oil prices. Because of the size of the oil market, it would take a huge increase in U.S. production to cause a meaningful price drop.

(C) The U.S. oil market

 - The oil industry was in great part an American creation and the largest and most sophisticated companies are still based in the U.S. Their operations are entirely global, and they will invest where oil extraction is most abundant and profitable. They have no incentive other than profit to invest in domestic rather than foreign production.

 - If the U.S. is to become self-sufficient in fuel it must create an autonomous market with sufficient incentives for the industry to produce and refine domestically.

 - To determine whether and how such self-reliance can be achieved we must look at the numbers.

 


Dave Anderson for Congress Platform

Issue

It’s a longstanding problem: We’ve becoming highly dependent upon foreign nations – nations in a very volatile area of the world – for fossil fuel. Ensuring a stake in our ability to purchase and consume that oil has cost us greatly not only in dollars, but in lives. With the emergence of large-consuming superpowers of China and India demand is only going to drive up the price and the global market will impact the pocketbook of every American.

Solution

“We must produce what we consume.” America’s continued prosperity requires self-reliance in energy supply as well as efficient use. America is in a unique position to achieve energy security by drawing on a variety of technologies and resources – while remaining a good environmental steward. We must adopt a strategic approach to self-reliance and trade deficit reduction by:

1). Developing domestic fuel supplies to reduce dependence on import and to stabilize prices. Synthetic fuel from coal is another useful exit from the volatile and sometimes violent sources of transportation fuel.  Although we will be dependent on fossil fuels for a long time due to pervasive use, promising alternate technology can be commercialized very quickly.  Substitution of ammonia, produced from air with solar or wind energy, can be a realistic substitute that emits no CO2 or NOx.

2). Increase efficiency in existing energy use, beginning with transportation and, agriculture. With the exception of transportation, the U.S. is the most efficient in the world.  Extremely high returns from application of efficient designs can propel a great deal of commercial activity.

3). Initiate planning and research to ensure long-term energy supply. Subsidies distort present assessments. True basis in cost must be measured. Ethanol, wind, solar, and nuclear technologies are deployed when and where cost-effective.

By taking these measures we can eliminate our oil-related trade deficit which is presently over $300 billion a year. We can increase strategic security, reduce military expenditures, and assure price stability for the consumer. This will also create new job opportunities in research, development, production and infrastructure.

Developing a national energy policy will remain difficult as long as we remain mired in the climate change (“Global Warming”) controversy. In order to address this issue I recommend and will support an international effort in climate research, modeled on the highly successful International Geophysical Year of 1957/58.

Background

Additional policy detail is at the campaign website, on energy as well as climate.  Two policy documents are available to download.