Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Samuel W. Bodman, "Remarks to the US Chamber of Commerce's 4th Annual North America Forum," June 16, 2008.

[Bodman is the little-known US Secretary of Energy, the Department that, among other things, manufactures nuclear weapons. In this speech he discusses the North American Energy Working Group, which is a key component of the Security and Prosperity Partnership. He speaks of biofuels R&D through the Trilateral Agreement for Cooperation in Energy Science and Technology.

The US Department of Energy has also awarded funds for six large-scale carbon sequestration projects with a capacity to store one million or more tons of carbon dioxide in deep saline reservoirs. He mentions two projects that entail partnerships with the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia.

Needless to say, he speaks of "safe" and "emission free" nuclear, and if you buy that, he also dreams of eliminating the environmental impacts of coal. Sigh. On another theme, he believes that government intervention is appropriate, indeed "a responsibility" when it comes to "sustained funding" for research and development. Not health care. Not education. Not labour standards. Not legal services. -jlt]

Thank you very much, Ron, for that kind introduction and for the critically important work that you and your colleagues do at Lawrence Livermore. I also want to thank my good friend Secretary George Shultz - along with his esteemed co-chairs for this event, Peter Lougheed and Pedro Aspe, for inviting me to be with you. It's a pleasure to be here.

The way I see it, this event could not come at a better time. With its focus on enhancing cooperation among the United States, Canada and Mexico - and on bringing together representatives of our governments and the private sector - you are helping to develop and achieve real and lasting solutions to some of our world's most significant challenges. And when it comes to the global energy landscape, the challenges we face are certainly massive and pervasive. I don't need to remind you of where we stand.

Increasing global demand for energy, rising prices, a lack of adequate investment in new supply - which goes back several decades - along with harmful regulatory and policy environments around the world have coalesced into a global energy reality that is not sustainable. And, of course, producing enough affordable energy to meet demand is not our only challenge.

We also must confront global climate change and continue to look for ways to develop and use energy that are cleaner, more efficient and more sustainable.

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