Alaska Energy: A Consensus?

By March 2, 2008Energy

Lots of coverage of the Houston energy summit on Friday, with attention paid to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presence and the other candidates’ absence. (Houston Chronicle story.) Shell’s John Hofmeister makes an argument for additional domestic oil and gas resources.

“What do we say to the low-income driver who today is putting $3 gasoline in his tank?” Shell Oil President John Hofmeister asked the audience at the start of the event. “We face continuing, eroding social and economic justice.”

Oil, in other words, is an economic issue. As prices rise, it’s in danger of becoming a fuel of the affluent, forming a wedge that widens the gap between rich and poor.

The solution?

“People need hydrocarbons now,” Hofmeister said when I caught up with him later. “In the short term, there is no alternative to more oil and gas and coal.”

The only way to get more oil is to allow more drilling in areas where we’ve said we don’t want it — federal lands, wildlife refuges and coastal regions.

More from Energy Current.

Definitely a big-picture guy, Hofmeister was also in Anchorage recently for an energy summit, where similar themes arose. From The Arctic Sounder:

Offshore oil development in Alaska is going to happen, and the only question is when and how.

Or so it would appear from the dialogue had by 32 representatives from big oil, labor, conservationists and Native leaders at a Congressional Quarterly Summit held Tuesday, Feb. 20, at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage.

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