George W. Bush 2000 On The Issues
“America must have an energy
policy that plans for the future, but meets the needs of today. I
believe that we can develop our natural resources and protect our
environment. We are paying a steep price for seven and a half years
without an energy policy.” – Governor George W. Bush
A Comprehensive National Energy Policy
The Clinton-Gore Administration has failed to develop a comprehensive
energy policy. It has raised gasoline taxes, discouraged domestic
production of oil and natural gas, and admitted it was “caught
napping” when oil prices spiked earlier this year. It has also failed to
plan for the New Economy’s accelerating demand for electricity. On
this Administration’s watch, U.S. dependence on foreign oil has jumped
to 56 percent – the highest percentage ever. In 1973, during the
oil crisis, U.S. dependence on foreign oil was at only 36 percent. Over
the past seven and a half years, our international credibility has been
diminished, and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq is now a major oil supplier to the
Governor Bush understands that ensuring U.S. energy security requires
presidential leadership and a comprehensive national energy policy. His
policy, which includes more than 20 initiatives, helps low-income
households with their energy bills, improves air quality, encourages the
development of renewable and alternative fuels, and, recognizing that
alternative sources supply less than 4 percent of U.S. energy needs,
promotes access to foreign oil and the development of U.S. oil, coal and
natural gas resources.
To Provide Energy Assistance to Low-Income Households and Address
Short-Term Supply Threats, Governor Bush will:
- Expand the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by
seeking the release of $155 million, and directing a portion of oil
and gas royalty payments to the program, costing $1 billion over ten
- Reform and increase the funding for the Weatherization Program and
State Energy Program, costing $1.4 billion over ten years.
- Establish a privately-managed Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve and
allocate $100 million over 10 years.
- Use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve only in times of war or major
disruption in supply, and propose “wake up” legislation requiring
the Department of Energy to notify Congress when oil stocks are low.
To Make Energy Security a Priority of U.S. Foreign Policy, Governor
- Promote the development of a “North American Energy Policy” with
Canada and Mexico.
- Reestablish U.S. influence and credibility with oil-producing
nations in the Persian Gulf.
- Promote development of energy resources in non-OPEC countries, such
as the Caspian Sea Basin and Western and Southern Africa.
- Establish an annual meeting of G-8 Energy Ministers, or their
equivalents, to encourage international energy cooperation.
To Promote the Development of U.S. Oil and Gas Resources, and To
Meet the Electricity Needs of the New Economy, Governor Bush will:
- Open only 8 percent of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to
environmentally responsible exploration, which could replace the oil
that the U.S. now imports from Iraq.
- Examine whether certain promising natural gas reserves in federal
lands should be opened to environmentally responsible and regulated
- Improve the regulatory process to encourage more refining capacity.
- Require federal regulators to develop a comprehensive policy for
- Invest $2 billion over ten years to fund research in “clean
coal” technologies, $1 billion over ten years to establish clear
rules to help efficient utilities purchase nuclear plants, streamline
the re-licensing process for hydroelectric projects, and oppose the
breaching of dams.
- Support federal legislation restructuring the electric utility
To Protect the Environment and Develop Alternative Energy Sources,
Governor Bush will:
- Propose legislation requiring electric utilities to reduce
harmful emissions; in contrast, Vice President Gore has advocated only
a voluntary program.
- Create the “Royalties Conservation Fund” by earmarking
potentially billions in royalties from new oil and gas exploration in
ANWR to fund conservation efforts.
- Earmark an estimated $1.2 billion of bid bonuses from opening up
ANWR for funding research into alternative energy resources.
- Support tax credits for electricity produced from renewable and
alternative fuels at a cost of $1.4 billion over ten years.
The Need for a Comprehensive Energy Policy
“Against this background, our country has a great and urgent need
for a comprehensive energy policy, with leadership from the president
himself.” -- Governor George W. Bush
For most of its history, one of America’s greatest strengths was its
energy self-sufficiency. Until the late 1950s, production and
consumption of energy were nearly in balance. Since 1960,
however, U.S. energy demand has more than doubled, far outstripping
domestic production. (See Chart 1). Today, the United States
consumes one-quarter of the world’s energy – 28 percent of which
is imported from abroad.
America’s Increasing Dependence on Foreign Oil
The 1973 Arab oil embargo – and the ensuing fuel shortages, gas
lines, double-digit inflation and economic stagnation – dramatically
highlighted the degree to which U.S. economic security is dependent
upon foreign energy providers. Indeed, the last three economic
recessions in the U.S. were induced by high energy prices.
The last eight years have witnessed an accelerated decline in
America’s energy security, particularly as it relates to oil. Since
the Clinton-Gore Administration took office:
- Oil consumption has increased by 14 percent to its highest level in
- Domestic oil production has declined by 18 percent, reaching its
lowest level since 1954; and
- Imports of foreign oil have increased by 34 percent to their highest
As a result, America is now more dependent on foreign oil than at any
time in its history. In 1973, the country imported 36 percent of
its oil needs. Today, the U.S. imports 56 percent of its crude oil
from foreign sources – up from 50 percent when the Clinton-Gore
Administration took office – and over 7 percent of that comes from
Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. The U.S. bill for foreign oil has more
than doubled from last year – during the first six months of 2000,
the United States spent $56 billion on foreign oil, up from $26
billion in the first six months of 1999.
The New Economy’s Increasing Demand for Electricity
As important as oil is, however, it supplies less than half of
America’s energy needs. Increasingly, the most critical source of
energy for the country is electricity, which is principally produced
not by oil, but by natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, and
Meeting America’s growing appetite for electricity will be critical
to the long-term success of the digital revolution. The
energy-intensive New Economy is accelerating the demand for
electricity. Although few homes had Internet access just a decade ago,
use of the Internet today consumes about 8 percent of U.S. electric
Unfortunately, the Administration’s policies have discouraged
investment in additional electrical generating capacity and
transmission, and the development of domestic reserves of oil, coal,
and natural gas. As a result, demand is outstripping supply in certain
areas of the country, causing regional brownouts and blackouts.
The Administration’s Lack of Leadership
Instead of encouraging new energy supplies, the Clinton-Gore
Administration has increased gasoline taxes and consistently advocated
policies that would generate higher oil and gas prices. Domestically,
the Administration has focused on developing renewable energy sources
and replacing the internal combustion engine, while discouraging
domestic energy exploration, production and development. Internationally,
it has failed to maintain the Gulf War coalition and has squandered
U.S. credibility with oil-producing nations in the Persian Gulf that
can influence OPEC policies. This leadership failure has
increased Iraqi leverage over the U.S. and international economies.
Energy Secretary Richardson admitted in February that when the price
of crude oil spiked the Administration was “caught napping.” Yet
the Department of Energy’s own statistical agency had reported that
crude oil and petroleum stocks had fallen below normal levels in early
December. The Administration just simply failed to take action.
As a result, high heating oil and gasoline prices are now
impacting millions of Americans. In the absence of a
comprehensive policy, the Administration recently decided to use a key
national security resource – the Strategic Petroleum Reserve – to
address short-term price problems for political gain.
The Need for a Comprehensive Energy Policy
Governor Bush believes that ensuring U.S. energy security requires the
exercise of presidential leadership and a comprehensive national
energy policy. Such a policy must be forward looking, encouraging the
development of renewable energy sources and increased conservation.
Our energy policy must also be realistic about our current situation,
recognizing that while renewable energy is important, it currently
represents less than four percent of the total U.S. energy
consumption. As a result, an effective energy policy must reflect the
fact that, for the foreseeable future, hydrocarbons – oil, coal, and
especially clean-burning natural gas – will continue to play a
critical role in meeting the growing energy needs of the New Economy.
Hydroelectric and nuclear power will also play an important
U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil
“ Let me put this plainly: oil consumption is increasing.
Our production is dropping. Our imports of foreign oil are
skyrocketing. And this Administration has failed to act.”
Governor George W. Bush
Petroleum products account for nearly 40 percent of total U.S. energy
consumption, followed by natural gas (23 percent), coal (23 percent),
nuclear energy (8 percent), hydro (3 percent), and other renewable
sources (4 percent). (See Chart 2).
Oil consumption has increased 14 percent under the Clinton-Gore
Administration, reaching its highest level ever. To meet its petroleum
needs, the United States has become the world’s largest oil
importer. U.S. imports of crude oil and petroleum products total
11 million barrels a day – more than the total consumption of South
America, Central America, Africa, and the former Soviet Union
combined. Imports are projected to rise to 15 million barrels per day
by 2010 and will exceed this amount if recent demand trends continue.
As a result, while U.S. dependence on foreign oil has increased from
50 percent in 1993 to 56 percent today, the Department of Energy is
projecting this amount to jump to 64 percent by 2020.
Increasing OPEC and Iraqi Influence
OPEC countries supply 46 percent of U.S. oil imports, while non-OPEC
countries such as Canada, Mexico and Colombia supply the remaining 54
percent. (See Chart 3.) Maintaining U.S. influence with OPEC,
and especially with its Persian Gulf members, is thus critical to
ensuring an adequate supply of imported oil from our economy and our
When the Clinton-Gore Administration took office in January of 1993,
the Gulf War coalition was intact, economic sanctions were in place
against Iraq, UN weapons inspectors were operating in Iraq, there was
an active Iraqi opposition, and U.S. influence in the Gulf was at an
all-time high. Almost eight years later, due to the failed
leadership of the Administration:
- The international coalition assembled during the Gulf War has come
- UN inspectors have not set foot in Iraq for almost two years,
failing to monitor any attempts to produce weapons of mass
- The Administration has spent only a negligible amount of the $97
million appropriated by Congress under the Iraq Liberation Act to
support the Iraqi resistance.
- U.S. credibility in the Gulf is so low that the United Arab Emirates
and Bahrain – once critical members of the Gulf War coalition –
recently restored full diplomatic relations with Iraq.
As U.S. influence in the Gulf has waned, Iraq’s relative influence
as an oil supplier to U.S. and world markets has increased:
- Iraq is now the fastest growing oil supplier to the United States,
selling 850,000 barrels of crude oil a day to the United States in
June (latest month available) – or over seven percent of total
- As spare production capacity becomes tighter, Iraq is moving into a
position to become an important “swing producer,” with an ability
to single handedly impact and manipulate global markets.
- Perhaps most ominously, Saddam Hussein is threatening to cut back
production and is again claiming that Kuwait is stealing Iraq’s oil
– the same claim Iraq made in 1990.
Domestic Oil and Gas Exploration and Production
“My opponent says he is for natural gas – he just doesn’t
like people to find it or move it.”
-- Governor George W. Bush
Just as the Administration has failed to address the implications of
increasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, so too has it failed to
address the implications of declining domestic production.
Declining Oil Production and Constrained Refinery Capacity
In recent years, most of the oil and gas produced in the United States
has come from old wells. Indeed, since 1990, 89 percent of additions
to U.S. oil reserves, and 92 percent of additions to gas reserves,
have come not from new exploration, but from increased production from
While better extraction from mature wells is obviously beneficial, it
is a poor substitute for finding new deposits and does little to halt
declining production rates. As a result, the Department of
Energy is projecting U.S. crude oil production will decline from 6.3
million barrels per day in 1998 to 5.3 million barrels per day in
2020. Incredibly, production for the first seven months of this
year averaged just 5.8 million barrels per day – meaning 50 percent
of DOE’s 22-year forecasted drop has been achieved in under 2 years.
Another problem facing the country is limited refinery capacity.
While the consumption of petroleum products grew 14 percent from
1992 to 1999, U.S. refining capacity to create those products grew at
half that rate, requiring a greater reliance on imported products,
such as heating oil and gasoline.
Increasing Demand for Natural Gas
America’s ability to meet its growing demand for natural gas is also
in doubt. Natural gas is the preferred fuel for new electric
generation facilities because gas plants have lower capital costs than
coal plants, and because natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil
fuel. A greater reliance on natural gas will diminish air
pollution and help sustain forests, waters, and farmlands now being
affected by acid rain. Also, unlike oil, natural gas is
relatively abundant in North America; it is hemispheric in
nature and not subject to manipulation on the world market by other
Thus, demand for natural gas is accelerating at a rapid rate. Indeed,
DOE projects that demand for natural gas will rise 40 percent in
coming years, from 22 trillion cubic feet (TCF) in 1998 to 31 TCF in
2015. Although proven U.S. gas reserves totaled 167 TCF in 1998, and
unproven reserves are estimated at 6.5 times that amount, 14 percent
of U.S. natural gas consumption is imported, largely from Canada.
Need for Access to New Fields
Unfortunately, rather than supporting environmentally responsible
development of new domestic supplies of oil and natural gas, the
Clinton-Gore Administration has aggressively restricted access to some
of the largest potential new fields. For example:
- The Department of Energy reports that just 8 percent of the
19-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) could hold over
35 percent of current total proven U.S. oil reserves – but the
Administration has not permitted any oil exploration in ANWR.
- The National Petroleum Council recently estimated that 40 percent of
potential gas resources in Western states – up to 137 TCF – is on
federal land that is either closed to exploration or under restrictive
Need for New Pipelines
A number of new pipeline additions and capacity expansions will be
necessary to meet the increasing demand for oil and natural gas.
The National Petroleum Council estimates that the gas industry
will require 38,000 miles of new transmission pipelines and 255,000
miles of distribution lines by 2015. This is particularly true for the
Northeast and the Midwest, where incremental electricity demand
historically met by coal or nuclear plants will instead be met by
gas-fired plants, and where refinery consolidations have restricted
the amount of petroleum products being produced locally.
Interstate pipelines are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC). Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the
process of approving new pipeline construction has become slow and
cumbersome. For example, the Independence and Millenium pipelines,
which were proposed to bring natural gas to the Northeast in 1997 and
1998, respectively, have been languishing in bureaucratic limbo.
The Accelerating Demand for Electricity
“We think of our New Economy as quiet and far removed from the
Industrial Age. In some ways it is. Yet, today the
equipment needed to power the Internet consumes eight percent of all
the electricity produced in the United States.” -- Governor
George W. Bush
An energy policy that reduces U.S. dependence on foreign oil, while
increasing domestic production of oil and gas, will help ameliorate
the current energy imbalance. However, the most critical source
of energy for the U.S. will be electricity. (See Chart 4).
Electricity is not a primary source of energy like oil or gas, but is
generated by using these and other fuel sources such as coal, wind,
nuclear energy and water. In 1975, roughly 25 percent of U.S.
energy demand was delivered in the form of electricity. That
figure has risen to almost 37 percent in recent years and is likely to
continue to rise due to the growth of the New Economy.
Electricity and the New Economy
The New Economy has not only changed U.S. industry and culture, it has
also fundamentally altered the use of electricity. Nowhere is this
trend more apparent than with the Internet. The Internet has
been growing by several hundred percent annually, with approximately
80 percent of that growth occurring in the United States. Powering
this backbone of the New Economy requires a phenomenal amount of
electricity. While a decade ago most Americans did not use the
Internet, one industry expert recently estimated that all of the
equipment necessary to run the Internet consumed about 8 percent of
U.S. electric demand in 1999. When the electricity required to
manufacture and use other information technology equipment is added,
that figure jumps to 13 percent.
Further growth of the Internet will only cause demand for electricity
to escalate. Intel estimates the number of Internet nodes will
reach 1 billion sometime during the current decade. New
web sites translate into more users, more traffic, more servers, more
peripherals, more air conditioning – in short, more demand for
electricity and for the fuels that are used to produce it.
Meeting this demand will be particularly challenging. By 2015, 60
percent of the existing coal-fired plants and 40 percent of nuclear
plants will be over 40 years old. Thus, a significant amount of
new investment will be required in generating plants to replace those
that are retired and to meet incremental electricity demand. In
addition, greater investment is needed in the electric transmission
grid to move power to areas of growing demand. Unfortunately,
the Clinton-Gore Administration has failed to establish a framework to
encourage this investment.
Coal generates over 50 percent of America’s electricity supply and
plays an important role in meeting the electric needs of the New
Economy. For example, some estimate that one half of a pound of
coal is required to order a book from an online book order website.
Nine out of every 10 tons of coal consumed in the U.S. is for
electricity generation. The U.S. holds over 25 percent of the
world’s coal reserves and has almost 250 years worth of supply at
current production rates. However, the Administration has done
little to meet the challenge of using these abundant coal reserves,
while protecting the environment.
Excessive regulation is not the answer. A recent study by the
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) determined that the combined
effect of Administration policies and implementation of the Kyoto
global climate treaty would reduce electricity derived from coal in
the U.S. from over 50 percent today to less than 10 percent by 2020.
As a result, electricity prices would increase 50 percent in
real terms and a massive investment in natural gas infrastructure
would be required to replace the lost coal capacity. EPRI found
that substantial emission reductions could be more readily achieved by
scheduling emission reductions to coincide with technological
advances, but the Administration is instead insisting upon substantial
reductions before these advances can be reasonably deployed.
Nuclear power provides 20 percent of the country’s electric needs
and is an integral part of U.S. energy security. Its feedstock
is not subject to volatile price fluctuations and it plays an
important part in meeting air-emissions targets. Yet no new
nuclear reactors have been ordered since 1978. As a result, the
DOE estimates that over 40 percent of the U.S. nuclear capacity
available in 1998 will be retired by 2020 with no new plant
Hydropower represents 10 percent of the electricity produced in the
United States and approximately 85 percent of all renewable energy
generation. It is a significant portion of the nation's
electricity produced without air pollution or greenhouse gas
emissions, and it is accomplished at relatively low cost.
Over 1,600 hydroelectric projects are regulated by the FERC under the
Federal Power Act of 1920, of which 220 will be subject to relicensing
during the next 10 years. However, the current relicensing
process can be costly, time consuming, and result in delays and lost
capacity. According to a September 1997 DOE study, of 52 hydro
projects relicensed since 1987, only four projects increased capacity,
while 48 actually decreased capacity.
Although hydroelectric power is clean, reliable and low-cost, it is
coming under increasing attack. Secretary of the Interior
Babbitt has advocated destroying dams, thus limiting hydro generation.
President Clinton and Vice President Gore have yet to take a
stand on the issue.
The Need for Deregulation
The Energy Policy Act of 1992 set the stage for a more competitive,
less regulated electric industry. Deregulation benefits
customers by allowing markets – and not government officials – to
efficiently determine investment decisions, and by ultimately giving
customers a choice of supplier. Roughly half of the states, including
Texas, have passed some form of electric restructuring legislation to
deal with retail markets.
It has become increasingly clear, however, that federal legislation is
needed to assure the reliability of the nation’s electrical grid,
and to promote consumer choice by removing federal barriers to
competition. Unfortunately, the Administration has not offered
the leadership necessary to pass a comprehensive electric
restructuring bill, thus preventing consumers from receiving all of
the benefits that deregulation can provide.
Governor Bush’s National Energy Policy
Despite presiding over a period of unprecedented economic growth and
increasing energy demand, it is clear that the Clinton-Gore
Administration has done little to plan for America’s future energy
At best, for the last seven and a half years the Administration has
had no energy policy. At worst, its policy has been to ignore
America’s increasing reliance on foreign oil, while discouraging
domestic energy exploration and production.
Moreover, the Administration’s actions have been inherently
contradictory: extolling the virtues of information technology, but
failing to plan for the increased energy needs of the New Economy;
promoting the development of electric vehicles, but discouraging
investment in new electrical generating capacity.
In contrast, Governor Bush recognizes the need for a comprehensive,
strategic approach to ensuring U.S. energy security. He
understands that the only way to meet America’s growing energy needs
is to utilize a range of fuels and technologies: oil, natural gas,
coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, and biomass, as well as increased
conservation. He also understands the critical need to help low
income Americans with their energy bills.
Thus, as President, Governor Bush will promote a comprehensive
national energy policy that will:
- Provide Energy Assistance to Low-Income Households.
- Address Short Term Supply Threats.
- Make Energy Security a Priority of U.S. Foreign Policy.
- Promote the Development of U.S. Oil and Gas Resources.
- Meet the Electricity Demands of the New Economy.
- Protect the Environment and Promote Alternative Energy Sources.
Providing Energy Assistance to Low-Income Households
Governor Bush believes that markets – and not the government –
should set prices and should determine which energy sources prevail.
He understands, however, that energy is a vital resource for all
Americans regardless of income, and often those who can least afford
high prices face the largest bills as a percent of their income. That
is why he supports the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
LIHEAP is the largest direct expenditure energy subsidy program,
spending $1.3 billion in fiscal year 1999, which included $155 million
in emergency funds for cooling assistance. This fiscal year, Congress
passed a supplemental appropriation of $600 million for LIHEAP to meet
future emergencies. President Clinton has released $445 million
of that, leaving $155 million undistributed.
The DOE also runs the Weatherization Assistance Program, which will
spend $154 million during fiscal year 2000 supporting 76,900
low-income homes. The Weatherization Program was borne out of
the 1973 oil crisis and allocates money to state agencies that
distribute the funds to local agencies and nonprofit organizations to
encourage energy conservation. The DOE also funds the State Energy
Program, which will spend $37 million during 2000 to promote
innovative state energy efficiency and renewable energy activities.
Government Bush believes that those who can least afford periods of
high energy prices should receive assistance to lower their costs.
As President, he will:
Enhance LIHEAP’s Ability to Respond to High Energy Prices.
Governor Bush calls on the Administration to immediately release
the remaining $155 million of energy assistance for LIHEAP.
In addition, as President, Governor Bush will seek legislation
to bolster LIHEAP funding by using oil and gas royalty payments.
Specifically, whenever crude oil and natural gas prices exceed certain
price triggers, royalties collected above that price will be
redirected to LIHEAP. For example, if the oil trigger was West
Texas Intermediate crude prices exceeding $30.00 per barrel and the
natural gas trigger was Henry Hub gas prices exceeding $3.00 per MMBtu,
LIHEAP would receive an additional $500 million this year to help
Americans cope with high prices. If the government receives a
windfall due to high prices, it will give it back to those who are
Reform and Double the Funding for the Weatherization Program and
State Energy Program. Governor Bush will increase spending
for Weatherization programs by $1.4 billion over 10 years. He
will also allow funds dedicated for the Weatherization and State
Energy programs to be transferred to LIHEAP if the DOE deems it
Addressing Short Term Supply Threats
Both parties in Congress recognize the need to ensure an adequate
supply of home heating oil, particularly in the Northeast. Thus,
there is bipartisan support for the establishment of a Northeast Home
Heating Oil Reserve. Since home heating oil cannot be stored for
long periods of time, it would have to be regularly bought and sold to
ensure that a ready supply is always on hand in the reserve.
In contrast to heating oil, a reserve already exists for crude oil.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was created in 1975, in the wake
of the Arab Oil embargo, so that the United States would have access
to crude oil in the event of temporary foreign supply disruptions.
President Bush used the SPR in a time of crisis during the Gulf War.
In contrast, the Clinton-Gore Administration has used the SPR
merely as a price-control tool. In the midst of the 1996 presidential
campaign, President Clinton released 12.8 million barrels from the SPR
in response to high gasoline prices. Recently, at Vice President
Gore’s urging, he again decided to release 30 million barrels of the
reserve in an effort to drive down oil prices.
Governor Bush supports the creation of a home heating oil reserve, but
believes that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve should be used only in
the event of serious disruptions in the supply of foreign oil. Thus,
as President, he will:
Establish a Privately-Managed Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve.
Governor Bush supports the creation of a Northeast Home Heating Oil
Reserve. However, he does not believe that the government should be
actively trading petroleum products into, and out of, storage, as this
represents significant government involvement in the oil markets.
Rather, the government should contract with private companies to
perform storage services. This will minimize government
expenditures and interference in the market, while ensuring that
heating oil supplies will be available when needed. This
proposal will cost $100 million over 10 years.
Use the SPR Only During War or Major Disruptions of Supply.
Governor Bush believes that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is
what its name implies – “strategic” in nature. It can
alleviate short-term supply disruptions but cannot impact the price of
oil long-term in the global market. He will not use it to
interfere with functioning global oil markets or to manipulate prices.
Instead, he will reserve it to deal with major supply
disruptions and threats to U.S. national security.
Support “Wake-Up” Legislation to Notify Congress When Stocks
are Low. Governor Bush believes that the American people should
never be subjected to government officials “napping” when warning
signs of a shortage appear. As President, he will propose legislation
that requires the DOE to report to Congress whenever stocks fall below
normal levels, with an analysis of why stocks are low and what actions
should be taken (e.g. consultation with OPEC on crude production, or
discussions with regional pipelines and distributors for area-specific
Making Energy Security a Priority of U.S. Foreign Policy
The Clinton-Gore Administration has failed to recognize the strategic
importance of energy policy. An adequate supply of affordable
heating oil, gasoline and other refined petroleum products is critical
to ensuring sustained U.S. economic growth. It is also important for
maintaining peace and stability in key regions of the world. For
example, the current spike in oil prices has caused turmoil among our
European allies and, according to a recent World Bank report,
threatens the still fragile recovery of East Asian and Southeast Asian
nations battling back from the financial crisis of the late 1990s.
Ensuring an adequate supply of foreign oil requires effective
diplomacy with both OPEC and non-OPEC sources of supply. It also
requires better coordination within the Western Hemisphere itself,
among the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Canada now supplies 9 percent of U.S. oil needs, and 14 percent of
total U.S. demand for gas. Analysts expect Canadian exports of natural
gas to increase by an additional 50 percent over the next 10 years.
Mexico supplies 7 percent of U.S. oil needs. It has not fully
developed its natural gas resources, in part because of the lack of
gas pipelines. However, because of increased demand for
cleaner-burning fuels, Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission expects
that Mexican demand for natural gas will double over the next decade.
Governor Bush understands that access to an adequate supply of foreign
oil and gas is strategically important to the United States and to the
global economy. Thus, as President, he will:
Work with Canada and Mexico to Develop a North American Energy
Policy. The U.S. must develop policies and strategies to
support the increasing cross-border flows of oil, natural gas and
electricity within North America. Governor Bush and his Secretary of
Energy will work with their counterparts in Canada and Mexico to
improve oil and gas distribution, enhance the reliability of the North
American electrical grid, and promote cross-border energy trade. For
example, Canada and the U.S. could work together to streamline
permitting so that a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the Midwest
could be built.
Reestablish U.S. Influence and Credibility with Oil-Producing
Nations in the Persian Gulf. Governor Bush will make it a priority
to restore credibility with oil-producing nations in the Persian Gulf
War. He will work with such nations to ensure an adequate supply
of foreign oil.
Promote Development of Energy Resources in Non-OPEC Countries.
To help diversify the world’s energy resources, Governor Bush
will support energy exploration and development in non-OPEC nations.
For example, the Caspian Sea Basin and Western and Southern
Africa hold promising deposits of oil and natural gas. Developing
such resources requires a legal and security framework for investors,
and multiple access routes.
Establish an Annual Meeting of G-8 Energy Ministers. Governor
Bush will promote a coordinated approach to energy security by calling
for an annual meeting of G-8 (U.S., United Kingdom, Japan, Canada,
Germany, France, Italy and Russia) energy ministers or their
equivalents. Just as the G-8 cooperates on economic policy, so, too,
should it cooperate on energy policy.
Promoting the Development of U.S. Oil and Gas Resources
The Department of Energy estimates that more than two-thirds of the
roughly 600 billion barrels of known U.S. oil resources remain
untapped. Though much of this is in the form of less
conventional oil resources that are uneconomic with current
technology, the other great obstacle to expanding domestic production
is existing restrictions on access to promising fields, such as those
in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
A similar situation exists with natural gas. With U.S. demand for gas
projected to grow by over 40 percent during the next 15 years, major
challenges exist in both finding and developing natural gas deposits
and delivering it to end users.
Many industry experts and the DOE believe that significant amounts of
domestic natural gas remain to be discovered. Yet exploration on
federal lands is complicated by a myriad of regulations from several
different federal agencies. Proven gas reserves in Alaska
comprise 6 percent of total U.S. reserves, but have yet to be tapped
due to the need for a pipeline or other means of transportation (e.g.,
converting it to liquefied natural gas).
As the current heating oil crisis demonstrates, the U.S. has limited
refining capacity to meet its increasing demand for petroleum
products. Until unnecessary regulatory costs are reduced and
greater regulatory certainty exists, it is unlikely that significant
new refining capacity will be added. For example, the National
Petroleum Council, which formally advises the DOE Secretary, suggested
that the “EPA should support state and local agency decisions where
environmental justice issues have been addressed during the permitting
Governor Bush recognizes the need to promote environmentally
responsible development of U.S. oil and gas resources. Thus, as
President, he will:
Open a Small Portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to
Environmentally Responsible, Regulated Exploration. Technological
advances in the last 10 years have dramatically decreased the
environmental impact of oil and gas exploration. Consistent with
protecting the environment, Governor Bush will propose opening 1.5
million acres, or 8 percent, of ANWR to oil exploration. It is
estimated that this could eventually produce more than the amount of
oil the United States now imports from Iraq.
Examine Whether Certain Promising Natural Gas Reserves in Federal
Lands Should be Opened to Environmentally Responsible, Regulated
Exploration. Governor Bush will order the DOE, in
conjunction with states, to review currently restricted federal lands
and report on which ones could be opened to environmentally
responsible exploration. This will help develop both natural gas
and oil reserves.
Improve the Regulatory Process to Encourage More Refining Capacity.
Governor Bush will provide refinery owners with more regulatory
certainty so that necessary capital improvements can be made with the
knowledge that further regulatory changes will not result in wasted
investment. In addition, he will streamline the permitting
process where possible to ensure that regulatory overlap is limited.
Require the FERC and the DOE to Develop a Comprehensive Policy for
Pipeline Transportation. This policy will include both gas
and petroleum pipelines and evaluate regional requirements, analyze
jurisdictional overlap, and make recommendations on streamlining the
regulatory process. Governor Bush will work to expedite the
decision making process for new natural gas pipelines.
Meeting the Electricity Demands of the New Economy
Improving Existing Generating Capacity
Developing North American oil and natural gas resources will help meet
America’s long-term demand for electricity. At the same time,
however, Governor Bush recognizes the importance of encouraging
environmentally responsible development of existing coal, nuclear, and
hydro capacity to keep pace with the New Economy’s growing demand
for electricity. Thus, as President, he will:
Fund Research into “Clean Coal” Technologies. Coal can make
a significant contribution to U.S. energy security, if the
environmental challenges of coal-fired plants can be met. Due in
part to funding for clean coal technologies, overall emissions from
U.S. coal-based generating plants have been reduced by one-third since
1970, but more needs to be done. Thus, as President, Governor Bush
will invest $2 billion over 10 years to fund research into “clean
coal” technologies. In addition, he will support the permanent
extension of the existing R&D tax credit.
Establish Clear Rules to Help Efficient Utilities to Purchase
Existing Nuclear Plants. Several U.S. utilities with extensive
experience in operating nuclear facilities are pursuing plant
purchases. These beneficial transactions are impeded by confusion over
whether the funds that plant owners are required to set aside for
eventual decommissioning should be considered as a taxable asset by
the Internal Revenue Service. Governor Bush will seek legislation
clarifying that such funds shall be reserved for decommissioning, but
not taxed as part of the transaction.
Propose Legislation to Streamline the Relicensing Process for
Hydroelectric Projects. Governor Bush believes that the
relicensing process should be inclusive, fair, and include appropriate
analysis of the costs and benefits of projects.
Oppose Dam Breaching. Governor Bush will oppose efforts to
breach hydroelectric dams and instead support science to protect and
promote the habitat.
Promoting Electric Utility Restructuring
Deregulation is needed to encourage the investment necessary to expand
electrical generating capacity. For example, there is no single entity
responsible for the reliability of the interstate electric grid.
There are also several federal statutes that hamper competition
and lead to higher consumer prices.
The Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA) places onerous
regulations on utilities that fall under its jurisdiction and is often
cited as an impediment to new entrants and to needed investment in the
industry. In addition, the mandatory purchase provision of the
Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA) requires a utility to
purchase power from third party producers at the utility’s avoided
cost, which is often higher than what the utility could achieve if it
built a new facility on its own. Written in the 1970s to foster
competition, the provision’s actual result has been higher consumer
bills to fund unwanted and expensive plants.
Having enacted one of the most successful and comprehensive
electricity deregulation bills in the nation, Governor Bush
understands the need for complementary federal deregulation
legislation. Thus, as President, he will:
Support Federal Restructuring Legislation that empowers a
single organization to oversee reliability concerns and have the
ability to assess penalties to those that abuse the transmission grid.
In addition, Governor Bush believes that a more comprehensive
deregulation bill should also contain consumer protection provisions,
promote competition, repeal PUHCA, and end the mandatory purchase
requirement of PURPA.
Protecting the Environment and Developing Alternative Energy
Reducing Emissions from Electric Utilities
Electric utilities account for almost 40 percent of all reported toxic
air emissions. However, in 1971 and again in 1977, Congress
exempted then-existing utility facilities from the stringent emission
standards of the Clean Air Act on the assumption that these older
utilities would soon be obsolete. Thirty years later, however,
most of these plants are still running.
Governor Bush addressed this issue in Texas in 1999, when he signed
electric utility restructuring legislation that made Texas only the
third state in the nation to require “grandfathered” power plants
to reduce their emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide. The
group, Environmental Defense, calls the Texas law the “strongest in
the nation,” and says it “now serves as a model for energy reform
in other states.” In contrast to the Texas law, Vice President Gore
has only proposed offering incentives to electric utilities that
voluntarily reduce their emissions.
Governor Bush is committed to doing for the country what he has done
for Texas to improve air quality. Thus, as President, he will:
Propose Legislation that Will Require Electric Utilities to Reduce
Emissions and Significantly Improve Air Quality. Governor
Bush will work with Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency, the
Department of Energy, consumer and environmental groups and industry
to develop legislation that will:
- Establish mandatory reduction targets for emissions of four main
pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon
- Phase in the reductions over a reasonable time period, similar to
the successful acid rain reduction program established by the 1990
amendments to the Clean Air Act.
- Provide regulatory certainty to allow utilities to make
modifications to their plants without fear of new litigation.
- Provide market-based incentives, such as emissions trading and
carbon credits, to help industry achieve the required reductions.
Promoting Conservation and Renewable and Alternative Sources of
With over 95 percent of electric generation coming from coal, nuclear,
natural gas, and hydro, any energy policy that focuses exclusively on
alternative fuels and energy efficiency would be dangerously
incomplete. Nevertheless, alternative fuels need to play an
important part of any strategic plan to meet the nation’s future
Governor Bush understands the promise of renewable energy and believes
strongly in encouraging alternative fuel sources such as wind,
biomass, and solar. Indeed, the electric utility restructuring
bill he signed in 1999 will make Texas the country’s largest market
for renewable energy by 2009. He also supports ethanol as a
choice to consumers because he believes that it, too, might play an
important role in meeting our energy needs in the future.
Thus, to encourage the development of renewable and alternative energy
sources, and to promote conservation, Governor Bush will:
Create the “Royalties Conservation Fund” by Earmarking
Royalties Collected from New Oil and Gas Exploration on Federal Lands
to Fund Conservation Efforts: It is estimated that royalties
collected from opening just 8 percent of the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge to oil and gas exploration could produce hundreds of millions
of dollars in royalties annually. As President, Governor Bush will
earmark these federal royalties for conservation efforts, including
the elimination of the maintenance and improvements backlog on federal
Use the Bid Bonuses from Exploration in ANWR and on other Federal
Lands to Fund Basic Research on Alternative Fuels: Companies
wishing to explore for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge and other federal lands will be required to bid for the
opportunity. These “bid bonuses” are estimated to total $1.2
billion over ten years. Governor Bush will earmark these funds
exclusively for basic research into alternative energy sources, such
as wind, solar and biomass.
Support Tax Credits for Electricity Produced from Alternative and
Renewable Resources. Tax credits will include extensions of the
wind power credit and the closed loop biomass credit, and also include
an open loop biomass credit and a 15 percent credit for residential
solar power facilities, capped at $2,000. These credits will
cost $1.4 billion over 10 years.
Source: George W. Bush for President 2000 Web Site
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