Energy Sec. Bodman outlines US energy goals

The challenges of satisfying world energy demand requires substantial, sustained investments, US Sec. of Energy Samuel W. Bodman told an annual executive conference in Houston sponsored by Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

Paula Dittrick
Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, Feb. 14 -- The challenges of satisfying world energy demand requires substantial, sustained investments, US Sec. of Energy Samuel W. Bodman told an annual executive conference in Houston sponsored by Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

"The key to unlocking our energy future is ensuring that the innovation cycle continues as a rapid pace," Bodman said. "We must leverage the tremendous power of private equity, while also making smart public funding decisions, to unleash the world's best scientists and engineers on the problem."

After leaving the conference, Bodman joined Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in that state to designate Richton, Miss., as a new site for the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

"This new site, in conjunction with an expansion at two of our existing SPR sites will allow us to increase our emergency stocks to 1 billion bbl," Bodman said. "The further expansion will occur transparently and deliberately over the next 20 years or so."

During a Houston news conference after his CERA speech, Bodman said he has suggested that other parts of the US aside from the Gulf of Mexico be considered as possible SPR sites. Existing SPR sites are in Texas and Louisiana.

A sixth storage project is planned to bring the total capacity to 1.5 billion bbl. That site could be on the West Coast. Bodman said the sixth storage project will be a 20-year program that will be included in the federal budget in 2008.

President George W. Bush's state of the union speech to Congress in January called for increasing the SPR volume to 1.5 billion bbl.

Global goals
Bodman outlined what he called five major global goals:

-- Diversify available supply of conventional fuels and expand production.

-- Diversify energy supply by expanding the use of alternative and renewable sources.

-- Promote increased energy efficiency and conservation measures.

-- Improve the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

-- Maintain a global energy supply system and protect critical energy infrastructure to ensure a more resilient, secure, and less-volatile market.

"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."

Governments must provide policies that encourage investments across the energy supply chain and stimulate new research and development in the private sector, he said.

"Nations that dismiss these principles and objectives do so at the expense of the prosperity and security of their own people and the world's energy security," Bodman said.

Bodman called upon all nations to take steps to protect and modernize critical energy infrastructure, safeguard sea lanes, and facilitate multiple delivery routes.

"The world must be prepared to address any severe supply disruption by maintaining adequate strategic reserves and using them in a coordinated fashion," he said.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com

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