Former U. S. DOE Undersecretary Recommends Substantial Reduction in Hydrocarbon (Fossil) Fuels

by Duane Nichols on March 23, 2012

Dr. Steven Koonin, Institute for Defense Analysis

Dr. Steven Koonin, former Undersecretary for Science at the US Department of Energy, delivered the 2012 Dow/Union Carbide Lecture on March 23rd at West Virginia University. The lecture was entitled, “Addressing America’s Energy Challenges.” Koonin currently works at the Institute for Defense Analyses’ Science and Technology Policy Institute in Washington D.C. The STPI provides analysis of science and technology policy issues to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Koonin reviewed the findings of the DOE’s first Quadrennial Technology Review, bringing together various energy technologies and multiple DOE energy technology programs in the common purpose of solving the nation’s energy challenges. The U.S. is the world’s third-largest producer of petroleum, yet it sends $1 billion out of the country each day to pay for oil. Koonin said the challenge for the nation and its residential, commercial and industrial sectors is to provide heat and power in environmentally responsible ways that strengthen U.S. competitiveness and protect the climate.

In particular Koonin emphasized six strategies for the future: (1) increase building and industrial energy efficiencies, (2) introduce more clean energy into the electrical grid system, (3) modernize the electrical grid, (4) increase vehicle efficiencies, (5) electrify our future vehicles, and (6) find alternatives to hydrocarbons to fuel transport.  As these indicate, major reductions in oil imports and oil consumption are needed.  ….. clean energy does not include coal energy; and, similarly, natural gas is problematic because of the carbon dioxide produced when it is burned

The full DOE-QTR report can be found here

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

D. Nichols March 25, 2012 at 8:25 am

·  Steve Koonin, Institute for Defense Analyses: “When you hear the international oil companies advocating for energy independence, it’s really about making money, which isn’t a bad thing … If they produce a million more barrels a day, they’re not going to change the global price much. And since they know the global price is going up, they’ll just make more money. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t solve the price problem or the greenhouse gas problem.” (From: Jocelyn Fong, Media Matters for America).


Duane Nichols March 25, 2012 at 11:20 am

·  Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research: “There is almost no disagreement among economists that drilling everywhere all the time offshore will have almost no impact on the price of gasoline in the United States. The reason is that we have a world market for oil. The additional oil that might come from offshore drilling is a drop in the bucket in a world oil market of almost 90 million barrels a day.” (From: Jocelyn Fong, Media Matters for America.)


Duane Nichols March 25, 2012 at 11:30 am

·  Phyllis Martin, Energy Information Administration: “In 2009, the U.S. produced about 7 percent of what was produced in the entire world, so increasing the oil production in the U.S. is not going to make much of a difference in world markets and world prices … It just gets lost. It’s not that much.” (From: Jocelyn Fong, Media Matters for America).


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