Electricity Generation, Hearing Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Eighth Congress, Second Session on Sustainable, Low Emission Electricity Generation, April 27, 2004 [open pdf - 355KB]
From the opening statement of Hon. Pete V. Domenici, U.S. Senator from New Mexico: "This hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee on sustainable low-emissions electricity generation shall come to order. This committee has heard testimony in several previous hearings about our growing dependence on imports of oil and now we are beginning to see how we are going to become more and more dependent, if things do not change, on natural gas from overseas or a substitute for it. We have all heard serious questions about the availability of these precious resources. Past hearings have noted alarming statistics. Oil imports now fulfill about 55 percent of the total U.S. petroleum demand, with projection that imports will reach 70 percent of the U.S. needs by 2025. Natural gas imports are similarly expected, believe it or not, to be 23 percent of the total demand by 2025. These trends are disturbing enough in the near term, but in the longer term we face far greater challenges if we want to maintain our standard of living, our strong economy that runs on energy. Natural gas and crude oil are finite resources. Experts debate when supplies will dwindle to the point that it will no longer make economic sense to use them in electricity generation and transportation. Few people will argue that these resources are sufficient to maintain our thirst for energy throughout the next century. In this hearing, we look beyond the next few decades to the days when natural gas and oil simply cannot be used to provide economic electricity generation or transportation fuels. Today we want to ask what we should be doing today to prepare for that future. Only three sources of energy in use today have the potential to expand substantially to take up the slack when we are forced to shift from oil and gas. Those are renewable sources of energy, nuclear energy, and clean coal. Only these three sources clearly have the potential to protect the environment and meet our energy needs beyond this century." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Daniel K. Akaka, Jim Bunning, Frank Burke, Pete V. Domenici, David Garman, Ernest Moniz, Lisa Murkowski, Richard E. Smalley.
S. Hrg. 108-558; Senate Hearing 108-558
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html