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Address by SPENCER ABRAHAM, United States Secretary of Energy Delivered to the Economic Club of Detroit, Detroit, Michigan, May 20, 2002
In the last year I've had the opportunity to represent the President and the Department of Energy in Mexico City, Moscow, Vienna and Paris. And in less than a month I'll head to Morocco to co-chair the 3rd U.S.-African Energy Ministerial Conference.
These travels have taught me two things: First, how important international dialogue on energy issues has become. And second, how much I miss Michigan. So it really is great to be back here today.
This past year has been a very turbulent one on the energy front. From our first week in office, we knew that the United States faced an energy crisis. We faced pressing, immediate challenges.
The California electricity crisis was obviously one -- but, as you will recall, consumers faced unparalleled rises in natural gas and gasoline prices as well. And, just to make it interesting, OPEC was in the midst of a series of production cuts that aimed at higher prices for crude oil.
Now, we could have simply reacted to those immediate crises in an ad hoc manner. But we didn't do that.
Instead, President Bush recognized that to prevent those short-term problems from becoming a permanent, recurring feature of American life, we needed a long-term plan for energy security that would promote reliable, affordable and environmentally sound energy for the future.
One year ago, President Bush presented his solution, a national energy policy, to the American people.
The key to the comprehensive plan's approach was the recognition that over the next 20 years our country would demand large and rapid increases in energy in order to keep our economy growing and Americans working.
The numbers are staggering, and I'll just mention a few today. We face a 45 percent increase for electricity over the next 20 years ... 50 percent for natural gas ... and 33 percent for oil.
With those huge projections of energy demand as a backdrop, the national energy policy established six general goals to guarantee America's continued growth and prosperity:
First, we would aggressively reduce demand by employing energy efficient technologies and encourage sound conservation measures as essential components of our energy policy.
Second, we realized that even the most aggressive energy efficiency and conservation programs would not be enough by themselves to bring supply and demand into balance. And so, we would need to increase energy supply, with special emphasis on domestic supply.
Third, to assure energy security, we would need to maintain a diversity of fuels from a multiplicity of sources. Fourth, we would need to dramatically upgrade our national energy infrastructure.
We recognized that we would need more than supply to meet demand at affordable prices to consumers. ... We need efficient means to deliver energy from the source to the consumer, and our aging infrastructure is inadequate to the task.
Fifth, we would need to accomplish our energy production, consumption and conservation goals while building on our successful record of environmental protection, and
Sixth, we realized that our energy challenges would …