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Event Calendar

World Biofuels Symposium
November 13-15, 2005
Beijing, China

2nd Annual Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit
December 13-15, 2005
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hosted by:
Candadian Renewable Fuels Association

National Biodiesel Conference & Expo 2006
February 5-8, 200
San Diego, California
National Biodiesel Board

11th Annual National Ethanol Conference: "Policy & Marketing"
February 20-22, 200
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Sponsored by:
Renewable Fuels Association

22nd Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo
June 20-23, 200
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

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Posted on  

November 20, 2001

War on terrorism brings focus to oil alternatives

By Manuela Badawy

NEW YORK, Nov 16 - Even as oil prices tumble, a new outbreak of violence involving Islamic extremists is renewing concerns that the United States is too dependent on Middle East for its energy needs.

World oil prices have slumped 40 percent since mid-September, with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude touching a new low of $17.15 per barrel since June 1999.

Still, a gnawing unease over instability in the Islamic world has revived long-dormant debate over whether America should embrace new energy sources and conservation programs.

While the air strikes against Afghanistan last month have failed to trigger significant turmoil in Arab oil-producing countries, the events of the past two months have sparked a sense of deja vu among energy industry experts.

``If we can reduce our dependence on oil, and our need to go the extra mile in going along with some of the things that repressive regimes do, we would be a lot better off,'' James Woolsey, a former CIA director and now a Washington attorney, told Reuters. ``But to get that kind of independence we have got to be not so dependent on their oil.''

The plan to reduce foreign-oil dependence has three main aspects: First, aggressive conservation measures; second, the development of alternative energy sources like wind, solar, bio-fuels and hydrogen; third, drilling of new domestic oil wells, notably in Alaska.

``Diversification is the key to energy security in this country, that is relying on different source of energy,'' said U.S. Department of Energy's spokeswoman Jill Shroeder. ``The president has initiatives not only in solar, wind, biomass and geothermal but also in oil, by drilling in the Artic refuge in order to get more energy independence.''

The United States has spent over $10 billion in the last 15 years on renewable energy, research and development, the official added.

But while the Bush administration has made moves in these three areas, critics fault the leadership in Washington for stressing new drilling too much and for failing to grasp that seriously embracing conservation and alternative energy could cut U.S. oil consumption by a third within 15 years.



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