Energy Security and Oil Dependence, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, One Hundred Ninth Congress, Second Session, May 16, 2006 [open pdf - 961KB]
From the opening statement of Richard G. Lugar: "The committee meets today to consider strategies for reducing dependence on oil. This dependence brings intolerable costs to American national security and economic well-being. If oil averages just $60 a barrel this year, the import costs to the United States economy will be approximately $320 billion. This revenue stream emboldens difficult oil-rich regimes and enables them to entrench corruption and authoritarianism, fund anti-Western demagogic appeals, and support terrorism. As global oil demand increases and the world becomes more reliant on reserves concentrated in unstable regions, the likelihood of conflict over energy supplies will dramatically increase, and energy-rich countries will have more opportunity to use their energy exports as weapons against energy-poor nations. High prices over the past 10 months have demonstrated the vulnerability of supply. A global oil market tightened by underinvestment in production and surging global demand has been aggravated by hurricanes, unrest in Nigeria, speculation about developments in Iran, weakened capacity in Venezuela, and terrorist activity in Iraq and elsewhere. In this environment, the price shock from a major supply disruption could cause a recession. Today we will concentrate on how our Government can speed up the transition to alternative, sustainable energy sources. We are cognizant that despite past campaigns for energy independence and constant improvement in energy intensity per GDP, we are more dependent on oil imports today than we were when President Nixon authorized Project Independence in 1973. Yet, I believe we are turning a corner. The American public and elected officials are becoming more aware of the severe problems associated with energy dependence and are more willing to take aggressive action."
S. Hrg. 109-860; Senate Hearing 109-860
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html