"A clear and present challenge"

From US Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman's prepared remarks at the dedication of Motiva Enterprises' refinery expansion groundbreaking on Dec. 10 at Port Arthur, Tex.:

"When this expansion is complete, this facility which is now one of the preeminent refineries on the Gulf Coast will become the largest in the United States and one of the largest in the world. And, if I may be direct, this comes not a moment too soon.

"We live in a period in which the oil supply is carelessly close to increasing demand. U.S. refinery capacity is tight especially considering the variety of transportation fuel blends required in the U.S. market. And of course the standards for these blends vary during the course of the year.

"As everyone knows, tight supplies in a time of heightened demand lead to higher prices. These higher prices are an indirect tax on the American family and it doesn't have to be this way. New investment, in both alternative energy and conventional sources, will boost supply and reduce pressure on prices.

"The new energy reality is that, according to the International Energy Agency, world energy demand will increase by 55% between 2005 and 2030, triggering the need for a minimum of $22 trillion of investment in new infrastructure.

"At home, U.S. energy demand will increase by 23% over the same period, with a 19 percent increase in the demand for oil and other liquid fuels.

"All of this creates a clear and present challenge to America's energy security.

"We must push for the expansion of existing facilities and for the replacement of outdated methods of production by new clean, energy efficient technologies. We must also commit to the construction of new, state of the art refineries that will help America meet its petroleum needs well into the future. And we must have new investments, investments like Motiva is making here."

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