Report argues for US-Russia energy bridge

Oct 05, 2005 02:00 AM

by Rick Stouffer

An "energy bridge" between the US and Russia is crucial to America maintaining a balance between national security and acceptable energy prices, Duquesne University's new Energy Policy Research Group argued in a report.
The paper, Program for Oil Security, was developed by the new energy policy research unit and its director, Kent Moors, who, in addition to teaching political science at Duquesne also is a long-time energy consultant to both public and private clients. The paper has been submitted to White House staff, the chairman of the advisory committee to the Secretary of Energy and bipartisan members of the US Senate and House of Representatives.

According to Moors, any national energy plan must balance the security of energy sources with security of price.
"This is a national security issue, but national security goes beyond defending our borders or assets against foreign attack," Moors said. "It also includes things like defending the economy, keeping jobs hereand the ability of a person to support a family." Moors believes the economic elements of national security now are under attack.
“The era of cheap energy in this country rapidly is ending," Moors said. "It's not a question of not enough oil, it's a question of how much we are willing to pay."

America imports roughly 57 % of its crude oil, with importation actually cheaper than relying on more costly and diminishing domestic product, according to Moors. But lower-priced imported oil brings heightened security concerns, as Moors contends that 47 % of all imported crude comes from areas considered potentially unstable.
To counter importing from potentially unstable areas, Moors recommends moving the so-called US-Russia Energy Bridge from three years of discussion to implementation. Projections range from 8 % to 15 % of US market demand coming from Russia by 2009.

Energy consultant Rick Gordon agreed with Moors that doing business with Russia is important to the US.
"The linchpin for this country always is depth of supply and sources of energy," said Gordon, president of Gordon Energy Solutions, Overland Park, Kansas. "The national interest is linked to diversity of supply, and Russia certainly is a part of it."
Another point made in The Program for Oil Security was more attention to opportunities for liquefied natural gas development. Liquefied natural gas, LNG, will be the single most important change in worldwide energy patterns by 2010, Moors wrote.

Gordon said the problems the US currently experiences concerning energy and hurricanes could also happen with LNG.
"LNG terminals are being rejected up and down the East Coast and the ones that are being approved are along the Gulf," Gordon said. "A good Category 5 hurricane comes through and it would not be pleasant."

Source: Tribune-Review
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