Peak Oil News: Congressman Roscoe Bartlett Votes No on Energy Bill

Friday, April 22, 2005

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett Votes No on Energy Bill

Global Public Media

In Brief: "I voted no because the energy bill falls far short of President Bush's strategy to respond to the reality of threats to America's economic and national security from our dependence upon cheap imported oil. Oil isn't forever. It's a finite resource. We are relying upon countries that don't like us to sell us their oil. We're competing against other countries to buy oil, such as China now the world's #2 importer behind America. Increasing world demand and global peak oil, or stagnating production, means that oil prices will rise. The end of cheap oil is coming and coming fast. It is a tsunami we can predict that will have devastating consequences worldwide. The President recommends steps to meet this growing threat. I am hopeful the Senate bill and Conference will produce a final bill to implement the President's vision that I can support."

Washington, DC - Congressman Roscoe Bartlett today voted "NO" on H.R. 6, the Energy Bill. "I voted no because the energy bill falls far short of President Bush's strategy to respond to the reality of threats to America's economic and national security from our dependence upon cheap imported oil. Oil isn't forever. It's a finite resource. We are relying upon countries that don't like us to sell us their oil. We're competing against other countries to buy oil, such as China now the world's #2 importer behind America. Increasing world demand and global peak oil, or stagnating production, means that oil prices will rise. The end of cheap oil is coming and coming fast. It is a tsunami we can predict that will have devastating consequences worldwide. The President recommends steps to meet this growing threat. I am hopeful the Senate bill and Conference will produce a final bill to implement the President's vision that I can support."

Congressman Bartlett said, "America has only 2 percent of the world's known oil reserves," noted Congressman Bartlett. "We produce 8 percent and consume 25 percent of the oil produced worldwide and import 2/3 of the oil we use. We imported 1/3 at the time of the Arab Oil embargo. Oil production in the U.S. peaked in 1970 and has declined every year since then. Alaska and Gulf of Mexico oil slowed, but haven't and can't changed that trend. Energy experts agree that America can never produce enough oil domestically to meet our current or future demand."

"Peak oil is not unique to America," added Congressman Bartlett. "There is a consensus among energy experts that global peak oil will occur and is fast approaching. Forty percent of the world's oil is shipped through the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf that is vulnerable to terrorist attacks. China increased its oil consumption 25 percent last year. China is investing in oil projects around the globe and building a blue water navy to secure oil shipping lanes."

Congressman Bartlett said, "The United States is the most efficient and productive country in the world. We do lead the world. We cut our use of energy per $1 of GDP by 50 percent since the early 70's. That's really good. With only 2 percent of reserves and 8 percent of production, we're depleting our reserves four times faster than the rest of the world. It doesn't make sense to me to use our oil up even faster. Oil and natural gas are really too good to burn in transportation and producing electricity. They are the seed corn for our plastics industry and the fertilizer that produces the crops that feed the world."

"What America must do is improve efficiency, conserve, and invest and develop in a range of alternatives to oil," said Congressman Bartlett. "The President has responded to the threat, but H.R. 6 doesn't recognize the changed circumstances of the past few years. We really need a Manhattan project to make these changes on America's terms before they're imposed upon us by others."

Yesterday, President Bush said, "I believe America should not live at the mercy of global trends and the decisions of other nations" and called on Congress to send him an energy bill to sign before August "that meets four important objectives:"

-- Encourages the use of technology to improve conservation and energy efficiency through energy-efficient products and renewable energy research;

-- Increases domestic U.S. energy production in environmentally sensitive ways, such as expanding the use of nuclear power, allocating funds to spur technology to remove pollutants from coal-fired power plant emissions, and opening up areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for "environmentally responsible" oil and natural gas exploration;

-- Encourages the United States to develop alternative sources of energy, such as ethanol, wind, landfill gas, and hydrogen, including the authorization of funds to "move hydrogen-powered cars from the research lab to the dealership lot;" and

-- Help the United States modernize its domestic energy infrastructure, including power transmission lines and electricity grids.
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has discussed global peak oil extensively in the past month. A one-half hour taped program, E&E TV's "On Point," broadcast via the Internet in flash video format was distributed on Monday, April 18. Host Colin Sullivan, Editor of Environment and Energy Daily, moderated the discussion with Congressman Bartlett and Mr. Roger Diwan, Managing Director, Markets and Countries Group, PFC Energy. The video can be downloaded from E&E TV's website at http://www.eande.tv/main/?date=041805. A transcript will be available after approximately thirty days.

Congressman Bartlett previously discussed the challenges of global peak oil in Special Order speeches before the U.S. House of Representatives on March 14, 2005 and April 20, 2005. They can be downloaded from Congressman Bartlett's website, www.bartlett.house.gov. A follow-up one-hour Special Order is planned, but not yet scheduled.

Congressman Bartlett is one of three scientists in the Congress and had successful careers as a scientist, professor, engineer, farmer, and small business owner prior to his election to Congress. He designed and built his own solar-powered home and was the first member in Congress to take delivery of a gas-electric hybrid Prius. Congressman Bartlett is currently the Chairman of the Projection Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee and Vice Chairman of the Small Business Committee. He served as Chairman of the Energy Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science in the 107th Congress and was a key author of the alternative and renewable provisions in the Energy bill.


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