Renewables and Hydrogen Can Cure U.S. Import ‘Addiction’

The “dangerous addiction” to oil can be cured in the United States, and a more secure energy future is within reach of America’s industrial prowess, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Renewables and Hydrogen Can Cure U.S. Import ‘Addiction’ WASHINGTON, DC (US) 2002-01-29 [] With the U.S. Senate preparing to debate the proposed national energy plan of the Bush administration, a challenge has come from the national organizations which claim to have half a million members. They have announced a ‘Dangerous Addiction’ report that outlines the risks of dependence on imported oil and offers a plan to save five million barrels a day by 2020. Renewable fuels are specifically mentioned as solutions. The U.S. uses one quarter of the world’s oil but has only 3 percent of known reserves, it notes, and the country imports half its oil from unstable regions of the world. The study offers a practical five-step plan to cut oil needed for vehicles in half. “Washington has been dragging its feet on energy security,” says John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff and now with NRDC. “Now we face the risk of finishing another war with Middle East origins without a solution in place.” “It’s time for the president and Congress to reverse course, and tackle this national security priority.” “Detroit has the technology to end our oil addiction,” adds Jason Mark of UCS. “If cars and trucks live up to their technological potential, by 2010 we can save more oil annually than we currently import from Saudi Arabia.” The report calls it a dangerous addiction when 65 percent of the world’s known reserves of oil lie beneath Persian Gulf states. It says failure to act will increase the share of U.S. oil imports to grow from one-half to two-thirds by 2020. While oil prices are temporarily low, instability in the Middle East creates a situation that could change at any moment. New suppliers such as Russia and the Caspian region, are hardly more sound, it adds. Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would increase world reserves by less than 0.3 percent and would result in an energy strategy based on drilling for oil within the U.S. into a recipe for continued dependence on unstable regions. NRDC and UCS say the United States spent $106 billion importing oil in 2000. By 2020, imports will reach $160 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, an increase of 50 percent. The environmental impacts are enormous, as vehicles being the second largest U.S. source of carbon emission. “These proposals are the best way to curb our reliance on Middle Eastern oil,” explains Podesta.
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