Energy drives American industry and fuels our offices, schools and transportation system. Too many people take it for granted and few understand what the real choices are to reach greater energy security.
One executive has a clear and focused plan and he was at the National Press Club yesterday discussing it. John Hofmeister is president of Houston-based Shell Oil Company and he gave a compelling address about Steps to Energy Security. Mr. Hofmeister is not a believer in “energy independence” by the way, which he says is a naive belief that we can go it alone on energy. We already import too much, he says, to make that concept a realistic objective. But he does believe we can do a lot more to ensure a secure supply of energy. That’s why Shell has launched a 50-city tour to talk about energy with Americans of all walks of life. Getting back to yesterday’s remarks, the top two items on his list are:
* continue to bring conventional oil and gas to market, such as the new finds in the Gulf of Mexico. The easy oil and gas is pretty much running out, but new technology is enabling Shell and other companies to locate and bring to market oil that would have been impossible to drill a generation ago; and
* focus on oil shale in Colorado, where there may be as much as a trillion barrels of oil. Once again, new technology is being tried that won’t require quarries to mine the oil shale and extract it from the rock. Instead, Shell is piloting an in situ approach that would heat the oil in the rocks and allow it to be extracted in a conventional way. They hope to have this new technology perfected by 2010.
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