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    January 16, 2014

    Report says U.S. won't break free of petro-politics

    In a report issued Wednesday, a group of former military brass, presidential advisers, ambassadors and politicians said it's an illusion that surging U.S. oil production could unshackle the nation's foreign policy decisions from concerns about safeguarding worldwide crude supplies.

    "This is an antidote to those who just glibly say more oil production means we're free of foreign entanglements," said retired Navy Adm. Dennis Blair, the former director of national intelligence and co-chairman of the Commission on Energy and Geopolitics, which produced the 108-page analysis.

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    January 15, 2014

    US still vulnerable to oil shocks, say generals

    The US remains vulnerable to oil price shocks caused by disruptions in the Middle East and other producing regions in spite of the North American shale boom, a commission of former generals and senior officials has warned.

    The commission, led by Admiral Dennis Blair, a former director of National Intelligence, and General Mike Hagee, a former commandant of the US Marine Corps, also said the world had entered a “new normal” of high and volatile world oil prices. It urged the Obama administration to promote alternatives to oil use, particularly electric and natural gas-powered cars, and to strengthen support for global energy flows as a foreign policy objective.

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    November 5, 2013

    Shultz and Smith: Making the Most of the U.S. Energy Boom

    Fully maximizing the opportunities presented by the American energy revolution will require a concerted national effort that prioritizes investment in the development of advanced energy technologies—such as low-cost advanced batteries for electric vehicles and more-efficient home refueling units for natural gas vehicles—along with continued growth in domestic energy production. The volatility of oil prices, the presence of anticompetitive forces like OPEC, and the political and fiscal risks to significant and sustained energy-related research and development create an acute need for strong leadership from Washington if we are to capitalize on this moment.

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    November 5, 2013

    Examiner Editorial: SAFE has an energy proposal that merits bipartisan support

    From alternative resource projects to the Keystone XL pipeline, energy proposals from both political parties often fail for lack of bipartisan support. Consequently, a party usually needs to control both houses of Congress before such proposals can be enacted. But leaders of Securing America’s Future Energy, a nonpartisan advocacy group, hope to break this stalemate with an approach they believe could receive support from Democrats and Republicans alike.

     

    The SAFE proposal would allow oil and gas extraction on some federal lands, and also help develop alternative energy sources. “As we open up new federal lands for new drilling, we need to divert some of that new revenue to research and development to accelerate the use of some of these alternatives,” said Ken Blackwell, a senior adviser to SAFE and former Ohio Secretary of State.

     

    “We’ve got the potential that no nation in the world has ever experienced — and that is to have more natural resources in terms of our petroleum reserves, our natural gas reserves and our coal reserves,” said retired Gen. James Conway, a member of SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council. “And it calls out for a national strategic energy plan.”

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    October 16, 2013

    In D.C., CEOs Talk Up Alternative Fuels

    FedEx’s Mr. Smith said he liked electric vehicles for short and natural gas for longer-haul trucks. “We strongly believe that, over time, all-electric for short-haul light-duty commercial vehicles will be very compelling as the next generation of batteries come out,” he said.

     

    Among the advantages over diesel: Per-mile operating costs are lower, and “cities love them because there’s zero emissions,” he said.

     

    “You do have some pioneers out there, and pioneers often get arrows in their back,” Mr. Smith said. “But if you get it right, you end up with a tremendous competitive advantage.”

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    October 16, 2013

    Energy security improves, but U.S. still at risk of oil disruptions

    The U.S. ranks fifth out of 13 countries in oil security, trailing Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany, according to an Oil Security Index from the Securing America’s Future Energy think tank and the analytical firm Roubini Global Economics.

     

    Though the U.S. score is only modestly better than it registered early 2000, it has improved since hitting a low point in the second quarter of 2008, and gains in the past three quarters are “clear evidence that the trends of increased domestic oil production and improved efficiency are strengthening U.S. oil security, even in a historically high-price environment,” the report said.

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