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Oil president wants more access to energy resources

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Last updated May 7, 2008 2:39 p.m. PT

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Oil president wants more access to energy resources

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — The United State’s reliance on foreign oil is being increased because of limits placed on where companies can search for resources, the president of Shell Oil Co. says.

“The U.S. prohibits access to its own natural resources,” John Hofmeister said. “We need more oil and gas, whether it’s onshore Alaska, or offshore Alaska.”

There are also large energy reserves in Alberta’s oil sands and in oil-rich shales in Colorado, Hofmeister said in a speech Tuesday to the National Association of Attorneys General conference here.

Earlier this week, Alaska Native groups challenged Shell’s permits to explore for oil and gas in Arctic waters using acoustic vibrations. The lawsuit said marine mammals could be harmed.

The Spokesman-Review newspaper of Spokane, Wash., reported that Hofmeister told the conference that Shell accepts the argument that humans are causing global warming by the burning of fossil fuels, and that further debate is now only delaying action that will result in higher costs later.

He also said that Shell wants the federal government to take the lead in setting caps on greenhouse gases associated with global warming rather than having states impose a patchwork of regulations.

U.S. residents are addicted to consuming energy, and that even $120 for a barrel of oil won’t change most people’s behavior, Hofmeister said.

“Who wants to sit in a mega-mansion at 75 degrees when you have the ability to turn the air conditioner to 72 degrees?” he said. “Energy is the source of the lifestyle we love in this country.”

He said the nation burns 20 railcars of coal per minute, and 60 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day.

“Every second of every minute, this nation consumes 10,000 gallons of oil,” he said. “That’s a backyard swimming pool full of oil.”

He said Shell, which supplies about 14,000 U.S. gas stations, supports increased fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.

The U.S. hasn’t had a coherent energy policy since World War II, when the goal was to produce as much energy as possible and ration it to consumers, he said.

Washington state’s attorney general, Rob McKenna, said Hofmeister captured the intricacies of energy issues.

“We won’t move off a hydrocarbon-based economy overnight,” McKenna said.

©1996-2008 Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Information from: The Spokesman-Review,http://www.spokesmanreview.com

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420ap_id_energy_summit.html

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