ATLANTA, Ga. — Americans should not apologize for their voracious appetite for energy, Clarence ‘Bud’ Albright, Under-Secretary of the US Department of Energy said today at the Hybrid Truck and Alternative Fuels Summit.
However, he conceded the nation must reduce its reliance on foreign oil, which could be achieved in part by harvesting the vast reserves contained in Canada’s tar sands.
“Far too often in America, we apologize for our use of energy,” Albright told delegates during his keynote address. “I think that’s wrong. I don’t apologize at all for our use of energy. But I do believe we need to continue to explore ways to be more efficient and effective in our use of energy.”
Albright said he doesn’t buy into the theory that the world’s oil reserves are rapidly drying up. He pointed out that tar sands in Canada and the US still hold 1.25 trillion barrels of oil. To put it in perspective, he said the world has only consumed one trillion barrels of oil in its history.
He acknowledged that Canada is home to the majority of North America’s tar sands, but he added, tongue-in-cheek, “While they are foreign, I don’t think it’s a nation that we have to worry about cutting us off.”
Albright said oil companies must develop ways of extracting oil from North American tar sands in an environmentally-responsible manner. And that may mean using nuclear energy to heat the tar sands as part of the extraction process.
He said nuclear energy is “as close to fail-safe as you can get.”
Albright lauded the Bush Administration for investing in the development of clean energy technologies. And he urged the trucking industry to continue developing “a portfolio of fuel options that are safe, clean, reliable and diverse.” He pointed out that 24% of the oil consumed each day in the US is gobbled up by the trucking industry.
Today’s Hybrid Truck and Alternative Fuels Summit kicked off the National Truck Equipment Association’s Work Truck Show. Truck News is at the show and will be filing reports on Trucknews.com.
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