(House of Representatives - May 11, 2005)

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[Pages H3184-H3193]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Jindal). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 4, 2005, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) is 
recognized for 60 minutes.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise tonight with several of 
my colleagues to discuss an issue of great importance to our Nation, 
and I know that everyone that gets up here starts the same way, but 
this is a particularly important issue, one that the three of us wish 
to discuss as scientists, or those who have a great interest in 
  Tonight's topic is going to be energy. You have heard a lot about 
energy recently, worried about the gas prices, worried about the energy 
policy bill that we have worked on in the House and the Senate is now 
studying. Energy is extremely important, but what is most important to 
me when we are talking about energy or any other issue is to talk about 
the long-term effects because that is what the people hire us for. They 
elect us to come here and discuss and debate the future of this Nation, 
and it is very easy to forget that because we are always caught up in 
the instantaneous things we do, the stuff we have to get done today; 
but the people of this land, struggling

[[Page H3185]]

every day to make a living, keep ends together, do not have the time to 
do the long-range thinking.
  Corporate leaders are bound by their requirement to produce profits 
every quarter, to get the stock price up. It is up to us to really 
think about where this Nation is going and what is really important and 
what is likely to happen to it.
  So I wish to approach this topic this evening to talk about our 
energy future, where are we now, what is energy like, what is going to 
happen in the future; and between the three of us discussing this this 
evening, I hope that we can enlighten our colleagues and others who are 
interested in the topic.
  Let me begin by an introductory way just talking about energy and the 
nature of energy.
  I happen to be a scientist, a physicist to be more precise; and I 
have been involved in energy studies for some 30 years, but also 
because of my background in physics, I have learned a lot about energy, 
and I would like to tap some of that knowledge to talk about some of 
the issues and point out some of the characteristics of energy.
  First of all, energy is unique. Unique means there is nothing else 
like it. It is unique in several ways. Energy is our most basic natural 

                              {time}  2100

  For one simple reason: Without it, we cannot use our other natural 
  Now, let me give an example of that and to prove my point that energy 
is our most basic natural resource. If you would like to build 
something out of iron, suppose it is a car or a can or whatever, the 
first thing you have to do is dig the iron ore out of the ground. That 
takes energy. Then you have to transport the ore to the smelting plant 
and recover the iron out of the ore. Transportation takes energy. 
Smelting it takes energy. When you are finished with that, you 
transport it the rolling mill. That takes energy. And you roll it out 
into sheet steel so it is easier to work with. That takes energy. Then 
you transport it to the factory. That takes energy. Finally, you 
fabricate a car or something else out of it, and that takes a lot of 
energy. Finally, you transport the finished product to the consumer, 
which once again takes energy.
  Notice that every step of the way you were using energy in order to 
use other natural resources. I could have picked any other natural 
resource, and the same thing would be true. So energy is our most basic 
natural resource. You must always remember that. But secondly, and 
perhaps even more important, energy is a non-recyclable resource. Once 
you use it, it is gone. Now, if we use up our iron, we could go mine 
our landfills. We can recover scrap iron, as we do already to a great 
extent, and we can recycle it over and over and over. There is only so 
much iron on this planet, but we can keep using it over and over and 
over, and we are not likely to run out. Its cost may go up, but it is 
still there.
  But when you use energy, it is gone. When you fill your tank with 
gasoline and you drive it for a week and the tank is empty, the energy 
is all gone. It is used up. Where does it go? We know energy is 
conserved, but it can change form. All the energy from the petroleum 
you put in your car, from the gasoline you use, gets consumed and 
turned into heat energy, largely unusable heat energy. And eventually, 
that gets radiated out into space, and it is gone for us forever.
  So these two important features define a great deal about energy and 
how we should treat it and how we should handle it. Finally, because of 
this, the price of energy affects our economy more than the price of 
almost any other resource, simply because when the price of energy goes 
up, that price gets added on to every step of the manufacturing process 
which I mentioned.
  Let me mention some other characteristics of energy. Energy is 
intangible to most people. To me, as a scientist, it is very tangible. 
I have worked with energy so long I can almost touch it, feel it, taste 
it, et cetera. But to the average person, you cannot touch it. You 
cannot see it, unless it is light energy. You cannot feel it, unless it 
is heat energy. You cannot smell it, and you cannot taste it. So energy 
is intangible. To most people, the only tangible aspect of energy is 
the price at the gas pump or the utility bill at the end of the month.
  Because energy is intangible, people tend not to understand it. They 
do not know how to use it properly. I have a saying I often use, and I 
even have a tie to match the color I am talking about, I wish energy 
were purple. Because if energy were purple and people could see it, 
their behavior would change. When they drive home from the store or 
from the church and drive up to their house in the middle of winter and 
see a purple haze oozing through the walls because of poor insulation, 
or purple rivulets around the windows or doors because they are leaking 
heat, they would say, Man, that is terrible; I have to insulate this 
house better. I have to seal up the windows and doors more. Because 
they do not see it, it is not purple so they cannot see it, they are 
not aware of this.
  If you were driving down the highway and a little Toyota Prius or 
some other hybrid car goes by, something like the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Bartlett) drives, and he may discuss that a little later 
this evening, and this little Prius goes by, and there is just a little 
purple around it, because it does not use much energy; but then a 
Hummer or a large SUV goes by, and there is a purple cloud around it, 
if people could see it they would say, Hey, I am going to get a Prius 
or some other hybrid car and use less energy. So I wish energy was 
purple so it would be tangible to everyone. I think behaviors would 
change very quickly.
  To show the importance of energy, I would like to point out that 
energy affects civilization in a very direct way because energy 
represents the ability to do work. That, in fact, is the definition of 
work in physics. Energy represents the ability to do work.
  With the first use of nonhuman energy, in other words using animals 
to plow the fields and so forth, we had the agricultural revolution 
beginning. We talk about these big revolutions in the human history, 
and the agricultural revolution is a large one. There is no contention 
about that. But the agriculture revolution occurred only after we 
started using nonhuman energy, because people were not strong enough to 
really do a good job of pulling plows. Before they had plows that they 
could pull, people tried agriculture, and it never really succeeded 
until they discovered they could domesticate oxen or other animals and 
have them do their work, and then the agriculture revolution succeeded.
  The next big step was again related to energy. You have heard of the 
industrial revolution, where we began using industry to manufacture 
things and to replace human labor. What did we use? Fossil fuels. Coal 
first and then oil and eventually natural gas. So the first use of 
nonanimal energy led to the industrial revolution. Once again, this 
indicates how important energy is to life on this planet and to 
civilization and to our economy.
  I have drawn here on this chart a model for responsible energy use, 
trying to relate it to something that everyone understands. When you 
talk about your money, you go out and get a job because you need to 
eat, and you would like to have a house and a car. So you get a job, 
and you earn money. That is income. And most people in this country 
have to live within their income. That is what everyone aspires to. 
Sometimes, there are special needs, and you dip into your savings. And 
some are fortunate enough to inherit some money. So that is the model 
of individual use of money.

  Now, you can look at energy the same way. If you look at the income 
of energy on our planet, most of it comes from solar energy. We talk a 
lot about using biomass. That is energy from the sun captured by 
plants, and we can try to retrieve the solar energy from that. Wind 
energy. Lots of efforts to build windmills and use wind energy. Once 
again, that energy comes from the sun because the sun differentially 
heats the atmosphere and that causes the wind to blow. How about 
hydropower? Huge dams generating lots of electricity for us. Once 
again, that is solar energy, because the sun evaporates the water off 
the oceans and the lakes, gets into the clouds and comes down as rain, 
collects behind the dams, and we use that energy. Waves are also 
related to solar energy, because that powers the wind, which generates 
the waves, and people have tried to extract that energy.
  The only one on this list that is income energy but not from the sun 

[[Page H3186]]

from the moon, and that is the tidal energy. And efforts have been made 
to tap that, but it is pretty tough to do and you do not get a lot of 
energy out of it.
  What about the savings? Our savings account are all the fossil fuels; 
coal, oil and natural gas. Those are stored solar energy. That comes 
from plants which grew many, many, many, many years ago. Those plants 
eventually got covered up and over the years decayed and turned into 
coal, petroleum, natural gas.
  Then there is wood, which is also a short-term savings account. 
Again, it is plant. It really could go up in biomass here, but trees 
live a long time, so I put it down here in our savings account because, 
normally, we do not use all that energy in our lifetime.
  Finally, our inheritance, that is energy we inherited with this 
planet. Our universe and our planet were so beautifully created, and 
there are energy sources within the planet. There may be more than I 
have listed, but certainly geothermal energy. Heat energy within the 
earth can be used to drive power plants and already is in certain parts 
of California and other parts of the world. And nuclear energy. Nuclear 
energy is so long term, and it is basically there from the creation of 
the earth, so nuclear energy I would also classify as an inheritance.
  Now, I would propose that when we are using energy, we should treat 
it the same way we do our money; try to live within our income. In 
other words, try to use as much as we can of the solar energy, lunar 
energy and so forth. Recognize we have to dip into our savings account, 
and so we can use the fossil fuels and wood for that, but not to the 
extent we are using it now so that we use it all up, unless we use that 
to develop new energy resources for our children and grandchildren.
  And, finally, the inheritance. That is a long-term thing, but we do 
not want to depend totally on it. But certainly, that is there and that 
is a very promising thing to pursue.
  Finally, I hope as a result of the discussion we have tonight that 
all of us in this Congress and all the people of this country will come 
to appreciate energy. It is my hope that a better understanding of 
energy will lead to a wiser use of it by our citizens. And so that is 
the theme of this hour's discussion we are going to have tonight.
  Mr. Speaker, I have been joined by several colleagues, and next I 
would like to yield to my colleague, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. 
  Mr. GILCHREST. I thank the gentleman from Michigan for yielding to 
me, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the gentleman from Michigan for 
the fascinating discussion mixed with science, history and a little 
poetry there, I think. Mr. Speaker, I hope many of our constituents 
across the country are listening to this most important topic.
  My colleague, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers), began to 
speak about energy as not something that you can see or touch, and very 
few people think about that or think about where energy comes from. It 
comes from that fuel tank that you lift to fill your car. It comes from 
someone delivering it to your house. But I would suspect that many 
Americans and many of our colleagues here in the house feel that energy 
is a resource that will last forever.
  I would like to pose a question tonight to follow on with what my 
colleague from Michigan was saying, and that is: Is energy infinite? Is 
energy a bottomless well? And if we look at the bottom of the 
bottomless well, what do we see?
  If we are to have a cohesive energy policy in this country and in 
this world, in fact, we need to know what that is at the bottomless 
well, because I happen to think there is no bottom to the resource of 
energy. But we have to know what that is. What is that resource? What 
energy source can we rely upon for the unforeseeable future, for 
generations to come?
  The modern world right now is dependent, the industrialized world and 
the new industrializing world are enormously dependent on an energy 
source known as fossil fuel. That is coal, natural gas and oil. We also 
know that the demand is increasing as the supply is diminishing, 
dramatically. The U.S. oil reserves peaked in 1970.
  What is at the bottom of the bottomless well? I think it is 
initiative. It is ingenuity. It is intellect, and it is logic. Oil, or 
natural gas, is not at the bottomless well. Oil or natural gas or 
fossil fuel are finite, and they will not last forever. So we are in a 
transition period, because the demand is increasing dramatically, and 
the supply continues to decrease.

                              {time}  2115

  The gentleman from Michigan gave us a history lesson about 
transitions from one energy source to another over a long period of 
time and showed how our cultures, our industry, our economy, and our 
cultures have changed. We know that coal in this country some time ago 
replaced wood and actually saved the forests. Coal was actually more 
efficient and better for burning or for heating in those earlier years 
because we stopped burning our forests. Our forests create habitat for 
wildlife; it is an environmental issue. So coal replaced wood. Oil 
supplemented coal and oil is more efficient than coal and it is 
actually cleaner burning. Natural gas supplemented oil. Natural gas is 
cleaner than oil.
  If we looked at it a little bit closer from a chemist's perspective, 
we would show that there is more hydrogen in coal than there is in 
wood. There is more hydrogen in oil than in coal. There is more 
hydrogen in natural gas than there is in oil. So we are moving up the 
ladder of a better understanding of what sources of energy are 
important. But all of them are finite. And as our demand increases, our 
supply diminishes, and we need to begin to rethink our energy sources.
  In 1910 if we look at BTUs, British thermal units, if you buy a 
heater of almost any sort, it will have the number of BTUs that it puts 
out, the energy output. If we are to measure BTUs from the perspective 
of how many BTUs the United States uses, what is our energy output, it 
is measured in quadrillion. If we looked in the year 1910 as an example 
of BTUs, the United States burned 7 quadrillion BTUs. That is a 1 with 
15 zeros. Seven quadrillion BTUs in 1910. If we looked at 1950, we 
burned 35 quadrillion BTUs. If we looked in the year 2005, it is up to 
100 quadrillion BTUs.
  The demand is increasing exponentially. In 1970, the year we peaked 
in our oil, we produced, the United States, 11 million barrels of oil a 
day. In 2004, we produced 5 million barrels a day. In 2005, we burn 
roughly 20 million barrels a day of oil. We import about two-thirds of 
our oil, and that will continue actually to worsen, and we have about 3 
percent of the world's oil reserves, or less, and our demand is 
increasing while our supply is diminishing.
  We are actually beginning to see the end of cheap oil in the United 
States. And burning this resource, burning oil, is not the best use of 
that resource. We use it, as the gentleman from Michigan said, for a 
whole range of things, for heating our homes, for air conditioning, for 
airplanes, for electric lights, for clothing, much of the clothing that 
we wear, for plastics, for fertilizers, for modern agriculture, for 
asphalt to maintain our roads. Can you imagine the interstate highway 
system if we did not have oil to make the asphalt to maintain those 
many millions of miles? Surgical devices, hip replacement, national 
defense, all of these things come from oil. It is an integral part of 
our economy.
  Should we really be burning it as fast as we can, as if oil were at 
the bottom of the bottomless well? Are there other better uses for 
burning oil? There are. Can we improve our resources here in the United 
States with something other than fossil fuel? If we continue to rely on 
fossil fuel, we will never be energy independent and our security will 
be reduced because most of the oil we import right now comes from areas 
of the world that are not very stable.
  We should begin to seriously think about three things and think of 
these three things in the way that we use our initiative, our 
ingenuity, and our intellect to understand what lies at the bottom of 
the bottomless well. The first thing is fuel efficiency. That is one of 
the first things we can actually do, tangible things we can do. We have 
the technology right now to double fuel efficiency. We should start 
immediately, because it takes about a decade before

[[Page H3187]]

you see any results. We could save billions of dollars, reduce our 
trade deficit, save oil supplies so they last longer. The American 
Petroleum Institute estimates that we have 25 years of oil left with 
present demand. That is not with any increase in demand. Is demand 
going down? Will we burn less than 100 quadrillion BTUs? I do not think 
so. What will we do about importing the millions of barrels of oil 
every day? So doubling our efficiency with oil and natural gas will 
spread these supplies longer and offer us that transition period 
between a new fuel economy that we desperately need.
  The second thing are alternative fuels. The gentleman from Michigan 
(Mr. Ehlers) and I know the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Bartlett) will 
mention these. There is solar. It is a small piece, but it is a piece. 
There is wind. It is significant, but it is a small piece of the pie. 
There are biofuels, a whole range of biofuels from corn to soybeans to 
poplar trees, to certain grasses, to a range of things that we have 
already mentioned here tonight; but they are a small piece.
  There is hydropower. There is hydrogen which does offer us some hope. 
It is not a fuel. You can produce it from solar, from wind, from 
nuclear, from coal. What we have here is a membrane; it excites the 
molecules and you produce electricity without combustion. But we do not 
have the technology to mass produce hydrogen to take the place of oil. 
There is methane from landfills and livestock. There is nuclear power, 
which is cleaner. The storage of fuel rods is difficult and also, even 
though it is nuclear, it is a finite source.
  We have to start now to make the transition to a new energy source 
smooth and not disruptive. We must understand the dynamics of this from 
an economic standpoint, a geopolitical perspective, and cultural life-
  The third thing is life-style. Our lives, our culture right now, 
dependent on fossil fuel, our lives are filled with things, things and 
more things. Look around your home. Where do these things come from? 
What are they made of? And how do they get delivered to us? The world 
is dependent on fossil fuel, mainly oil, to make those things, 
transport those things, and bring them to your home. We import them 
from all over the world. Oil is related to every aspect of production, 
distribution, marketing, and consumption of the products you get from 
megaretailers like Wal-Mart and Sears to McDonald's and Burger King. 
Our culture.
  What will replace oil to keep this kind of economy ever expanding? We 
talk all the time about a growing economy. How will it expand without 
oil? We should start talking in terms of a dynamic, sustainable economy 
without oil. Without oil, our life-styles, in conclusion, our 
communities, are likely to be smaller and more compact. Our farms are 
likely to be smaller and more diverse. There will be fewer expanding 
suburbs wholly dependent upon the automobile. Solar, wind, biofuels can 
accommodate smaller communities. Nuclear at least for the time will be 
more significant.
  But if we use what is at the bottom of the bottomless well, 
ingenuity, initiative and intellect, we will have cleaner energy 
sources, more jobs, drastically reduced trade deficits, more of our own 
goods will be produced here, a stable economy, more security.
  What does the future hold for us? Look deeply at what is or should be 
at the bottom of the bottomless well. We need the time to transition to 
this new economy.
  Mr. EHLERS. I thank the gentleman from Maryland for his perceptive 
comments and his poetic, almost philosophical, statements. I appreciate 
  I would just like to add one quick note. When you refer to 
photovoltaics, I just read an article a week or two ago on this. It is 
just astounding to me how fast the field has developed in the last few 
years. Let me just give one quote: We expect that by 2015, 
photovoltaics will be producing electricity at the cost of 6 cents per 
kilowatt hour. That is generally less than people are paying for their 
electricity at their home. And there are no transition costs because 
you can keep the photovoltaic unit right in your home generating 
electricity for your home. A friend of mine has built a house which is 
totally independent of outside energy using photovoltaics and other 
things. He lives 5 miles from the nearest power line. It works 
  But the very interesting thing is that the prediction is that half of 
new U.S. electricity generation by 2025 will be produced by 
photovoltaics, replacing a lot of power plants. I was pleased when I 
read this. I thought, this fellow really knows what he is talking 
about. I got to the end and looked at the name. It is Mr. Al Compaan, 
professor at the University of Toledo and a former student of mine. I 
did not realize until I reached the end that he was one of my students.
  We have approximately 30 minutes, and I have three more speakers so 
if each of them could limit themselves to 10 minutes or less, I would 
appreciate it. Next I am pleased to recognize the gentleman from South 
Carolina (Mr. Inglis) who was with the Congress for 6 years, term-
limited himself, very honorably, and has now returned to us having 
fulfilled that commitment.
  Mr. INGLIS of South Carolina. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I 
am excited about the work that the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) 
is doing on the Science Committee and for the innovations that I think 
that we can together bring about and can encourage from here in the 
Congress. I am happy to be part of this Special Order to talk about 
what could be part of our future.
  In particular, the aspect that I want to focus on is cars and to have 
us think about what cars could be in the future. We are bound now by 
burning petroleum in our cars. We are bound to lethal accidents where 
people traveling at a high rate of speed end up being killed because 
cars crash together, blowouts on tires or whatever cause them to have 
  What I am excited about is imagining a completely different future, 
one that has smart cars, has fuels of the future; smart cars that know 
their position relative to other cars on the road by sensors and by 
automatic braking systems that take over for the driver, that make it 
so that a computer is actually driving the car. That for many people 
sounds like science fiction, but it really is not that far away.
  I think it is very interesting that Bill Gates was here recently and 
spoke with members of the Intellectual Property Caucus and opined that 
it is not a question of if; it is a question of when we get smart cars. 
He said in the future, there will be no accidents. Of course, it might 
not be wise to bet against Bill Gates when it comes to technology 
issues. While we were waiting, a colleague of ours pointed out that if 
you had invested $10,000 in a company called Microsoft in 1980, it 
would be worth $25 million today. So it is not a good idea to bet 
against Bill Gates when it comes to technology.
  What we have, I think, is the opportunity to dream that big, to think 
of a car totally differently, that it could run itself, that you get in 
it and it is not so much a steering wheel as it is a computer screen. 
Unless we think this is far away, think of the blue screen tracker 
system that is right now deployed in Iraq on the vehicles that we have 
got over there and so that our men and women know where they are, where 
their unit is, relative to other units. That is updated every few 
seconds. The technology, in other words, is not far away. It is on the 
ground right now in the blue screen tracker system, and it is not far 
away, in my opinion, for the car.
  If you think about what that means, it means compression on the 
highways. It means that you do not have to have the spacing that we 
have now, where cars in order to be safe should be driving a fair 
distance from each other at 60 or 70 miles an hour. As it is, we have 
got to have a lot of asphalt on the ground to accommodate that many 
cars traveling at that rate of speed. But if they are smart cars, they 
can be within relatively few feet of each other, traveling at 
significant speeds but knowing where one is relative to the other.
  That seems like science fiction, but consider this: a number of auto 
manufacturers, including BMW which makes X5s and Z4s in Spartanburg, 
South Carolina, are working on braking systems that actually take over 
the braking decision for the driver. BMW will release a car very soon 
that does just that. It has a braking system that decides for you when 
it should apply the brake and keeps you from hitting something.

[[Page H3188]]

  So if you think about that, the breakthroughs that we are going to 
get in cars, the compression on the highways, braking systems that make 
those decisions for you, the ability to get in a car, program it to go 
somewhere, say from here to Baltimore, take your hands off the wheel, 
read the newspaper, the productivity gains in the economy are very 
exciting. There are some very exciting things there now. The key to 
that is a new energy system, too, one that hopefully will emit only 
water as you travel, say, from here to Baltimore. That is what the 
hydrogen economy could promise for us. That is why I am very excited 
about producing that hydrogen and figuring out how to store it and 
distribute it. Those are, of course, as I understand it, the three big 
challenges, producing it, storing it, and distributing it.
  Producing it, as one of our colleagues just mentioned, could be in 
various ways.

                              {time}  2130

  Perhaps by concentrating enough energy from the sun, sunlight into a 
spot to reach temperatures to crack water. And I heard the gentleman 
from Michigan's (Mr. Ehlers) Special Order a week or so ago about 
nuclear, and we seem to be of the same opinion that nuclear seems to be 
one of the more promising ways at this point to crack water. A reactor 
built for that purpose cannot only generate electricity but can also 
generate the heat necessary to crack the water. And the beauty, of 
course, of that is, rather than cracking natural gas, which produces 
C02, cracking water would create no C02, and we 
would have this wonderful operation that creates electricity plus heat, 
cracks water, creates hydrogen, and we have got a stable source of 
  So production is crucial in envisioning this future that I am talking 
about here. Second is the ability to store it, to store this hydrogen. 
A lot of issues there about whether to try to store it in a gaseous 
state or whether to cool it and try to get it to a liquid state or 
whether to have some breakthroughs with metal hydrides and determine a 
way to store it in a solid state. Those are some areas that we need 
work on, and the gentleman from Michigan can add to that, I think.
  And then the third area where we need breakthroughs is how to 
distribute it, how to set up either pipelines or some other system of 
distributing this fuel. If we can crack those things, get at producing, 
storing, and distributing hydrogen, I believe that we are going to be 
there, not forever away. One of our colleagues who is not so inclined 
to believe that this is all going to happen once told me, ``Yes, that 
will work maybe for your grandchildren.'' Well, I think this is going 
to be here before my grandchildren, and it had better be because, as we 
have been hearing tonight, we are running out of this stuff called 
petroleum, and we have got a lot better things to do than burn it. We 
can make pharmaceuticals. We can make plastics. We can do a lot better 
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for giving me the opportunity to 
share these dreams of the future that may seem like some watching 
dreamers, but that is how we got to the moon. That is how we get 
breakthroughs. We have got to be about it and here in the Congress fund 
it, fund good research on these things, spend good money to create 
these breakthroughs.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I thank the gentleman 
for his comments. And I particularly would like to emphasize a couple 
of things. First of all, many people tend to assume hydrogen is a new 
source of energy. It is not a source of energy because free hydrogen 
does not occur in nature. We have to produce it. And highlighting the 
needs, we have to develop means of production and storage and 
distribution, which includes transportation to the gas stations. It is 
going to be a real revolution. I would expect, by 2020, we will see a 
substantial number of those vehicles on the road. It is going to take a 
lot of hard work, but it will be worth it because they will be 
essentially pollution free, and if we produce the hydrogen using 
nuclear energy or solar energy, something other than petroleum, we will 
also be contributing to a cleaner atmosphere and get rid of the 
greenhouse gasses.
  So I thank the gentleman very much for his contribution, and I am 
delighted to have him on the Committee on Science with me.
  Mr. Speaker, next I yield to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Wamp) 
who has Oakridge National Laboratories within his district and is very 
interested in science and particularly in energy, which is natural 
because the Oakridge Laboratories is a Department of Energy facility. 
So I am very anxious to hear what he has to add to the discussion this 
  Mr. WAMP. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Ehlers) for yielding to me.
  Let me say how encouraged I am that five senior Republicans would 
come together tonight to share different perspectives on the need to 
secure our energy sources in this country and to help bring the 
American people along to some of the reforms that are necessary, I 
think, to secure our future in the world and to create more 
opportunity. I believe that we have done a lot of good things on this 
side of the aisle, but I think that we have a whole lot left to be 
done. And before this energy bill gets back from conference, I think we 
all need to advocate for quite a few changes.
  Let me say that energy and economic development are hand in hand. The 
gentleman from South Carolina invoked the name of Bill Gates. I would 
submit that the reason that we balanced the budget a few years ago for 
a few years in a row was not because we cut spending. We did hold the 
line on spending for like 3 consecutive years and kept the growth of 
spending below inflation. But it was because we actually led the world 
in a particular area of our export economy and information technology 
and we created such a robust U.S. economy that revenues surpassed 
expenses, and we balanced the budget. And I would challenge the country 
that the one great area that we can do that again, as we look over the 
next 10 to 15 years, is in what I call ``entech,'' energy technologies. 
Because there are so many energy needs around the world as the 
population explodes, as third-world countries become industrialized, as 
people are more mobile, and this global economy that we all live and 
operate in is increasing the demand for energy, the whole world is 
looking to us for leadership. And it is an export potential in 
manufacturing that could lead to the most robust U.S. economy that 
could actually increase revenues so greatly, because we are so 
productive, and we are solving the world problems. We could balance the 
budget again. I do not believe, given today's needs, we can cut 
spending enough to balance the budget because of homeland security, 
because of entitlement spending. As a matter of fact, if we eliminate 
all of the nondefense discretionary funding, we still would have a 
deficit in this current fiscal year. So we have got to grow this 
economy, and energy technologies are the way to do it.
  Energy, as we have heard already, is a source of many of our 
problems. But I have get got to tell my colleagues, energy is also the 
source of the solutions to a lot of our problems, and I am looking 
forward to the development of technologies. And when we look at this 
continuum, I love the combination of history and knowledge on energy, 
but think about the next 100 years and think back on the last 100 
years. Man has only been flying a little more than 100 years. That 
ought to blow people's minds that, in less than 100 years, we can go 
from Kitty Hawk to people routinely being catapulted into space with a 
hydrogen system, catapult them into space. They stay out there for a 
period of time. They reenter the earth's atmosphere in a big ball of 
fire, and then they safely land and walk away. And except for two great 
tragedies with Challenger and Columbia, this became routine in less 
than 100 years. Where are we going to be with technology in the next 
100 years? Children ought to look forward to their future. The Jetsons, 
which was a cartoon we watched, could very well be a reality within the 
next few decades.
  Transportation, though, has to be at the forefront of the energy 
revolution in this country because two-thirds of the petroleum is used 
in the transportation sector, and as the gentleman

[[Page H3189]]

from South Carolina so well articulated, we have got to look for 
solutions. I am encouraged by the development of hybrid vehicles. It is 
the bridge to the hydrogen economy as it develops, and right now, there 
are more and more automotive systems, cars and light trucks, that are 
moving to hybrid technologies, both foreign and domestic. And next 
year, the American consumer will have a host of options.

  One of the things that I regretted about the energy bill, and I think 
several of our colleagues here on our side did not vote for the House 
version, and I believe we will be able to vote for the conference 
report when it comes back soon, because the House version did not 
include the tax incentives to stimulate renewables, alternative fuels, 
did not extend the tax credit for these hybrid vehicles. And, frankly, 
we have got people waiting in line, and we need to incentivize more of 
that so that the manufacturers will be encouraged to make them and 
consumers will be encouraged to buy them, and we did not do enough in 
that bill. As a matter of fact, here is what folks need to know, 
because I have met with President Bush recently and listened to him on 
this issue: When he sent his proposal over here, 72 percent of the tax 
incentives in his energy plan were for renewables and energy 
alternatives, and he really wanted to rachet this up. But, by the time 
the House got through with it, they had lowered that 72 percent to 6 
percent and replaced a lot of the renewables and alternative energy 
sources with oil and gas. And when they asked the President what he 
thought about that he said, You do not need to incentivize oil and gas; 
$2.35 a gallon will incentivize oil and gas. They have got incentives. 
It is called the marketplace. We need to incentivize the alternatives 
to oil and gas.
  And that is really what we are excited about here, and I believe, 
when the Senate finishes its work, brings this back, the Republicans in 
Congress and quite a few good Democrats will come together and pass an 
energy bill that really moves us towards these alternatives.
  Let me tell my colleagues that I look to the private sector to see 
what they are doing because there is some division at DOE as to whether 
or not hydrogen is safe and if hydrogen is the solution, and there are 
still some question marks behind it. But GM and Shell, they do not just 
throw their money away. They are interested in the bottom line. And 
they now have 40 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road, a permanent 
hydrogen station in New York City, a permanent hydrogen station here in 
Washington, D.C., to demonstrate what can be done.
  The challenge, we have heard some of the challenges; another 
challenge is cost. These units cost $400,000 each. We have got to find 
ways to bring that cost down to a $40,000 or $50,000 each so that it is 
cost-effective for the American consumers to jump across this bridge to 
the hydrogen economy.
  I have said that I believe our tax code is the best way to encourage 
and incentivize manufacturers and consumers to move towards these new 
sources of energy. Our energy independence, though, is a homeland 
security issue. I co-chair the Renewable Energy Caucus here in the 
House, and in the last Congress, we got over half the Members. It is 
very bipartisan; about 60 percent Democrats, 40 percent Republicans. 
Many of my colleagues here, I think all of them are members of it. It 
is so important that we do these things, but I also serve on the 
Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. Our 
energy security is a top homeland security issue. As a matter of fact, 
former national security advisers all came together last month and 
signed a letter to the President of the United States saying that 
energy security is a crisis and that it is a national security issue 
and that we need to address it with the highest level of priority. And 
there are several crises floating around. We are spending a lot of time 
talking about them. In my view, this energy issue is right at the end 
of our nose in terms of a crisis. We have got to mobilize quickly so 
that we can secure our independence. I do not want to be reliant on the 
Middle East for petroleum for two-thirds of our transportation needs. 
And the sooner we act, the sooner we are going to be stable and secure. 
It is a very important national security and homeland security issue.
  We talk about natural gas. The prices have spiked so quickly that now 
we look at photovoltaics. We look at solar panels for home 
construction, and because of the rise in natural gas prices, they 
become cost-effective to put them on their house early. They make solar 
energy panels in Memphis, Tennessee. Sharp Solar does. And in a lot of 
places that are cold in the winter, now where natural gas has gone to 
$7, I think, we can actually put in our building materials these 
energy-efficient technologies. Go to the National Renewable Energy Lab 
in Colorado and see the breakthroughs. One will be stunned as to how 
quickly, as the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) has said, these 
things are advancing. A host of things. Wind power, we are building 
more and more windmills in the Tennessee Valley. TVA has the green 
power switch option. More and more consumers are signing up for that. 
Pay a little more but know that they have got totally renewable energy 
coming into their home. It is a popular thing. And, frankly, 
Republicans leading with a national energy policy for the first time 
since the late 1970s are doing the right thing for the environment.
  But that brings me to a problem we have, and that is in the 
electricity sector, the cleanest, most efficient electricity in this 
country is nuclear. In France, these people are very environmentally 
sensitive. They actually get it, and over 70 percent of the electricity 
in France is provided by nuclear, but they do prototype their design. 
They eliminate the margin of error, and they do the same thing over and 
over again. We need to do that here, and we need to go back into the 
nuclear business. We have the waste stream problems worked out with 
Yucca Mountain. We need to be bold enough to say, if we are going to 
secure our energy sources, and the main thing is there is absolutely no 
emissions with nuclear. We have clean air. We could actually 
participate in Kyoto if we would replace fossil with nuclear, and we 
are smart enough to do it. Dadgum, if the French are smart enough to do 
it, then we are smart enough to do it.
  The House Republicans have a strong energy plan. By the time we 
finish, we are going to do extremely well. We have got several 
deliverables from renewable energy and energy efficiency, moving to the 
hydrogen economy, making sure that our electricity grid is reliable, 
expanding nuclear power and cleaning up the coal technologies in this 
country. I am proud to serve with these men and advocate for energy 
security. I believe we are going to actually send that bill to the 
President and do the right thing, grow the economy and hopefully 
ultimately have revenues pass expenses again.

                              {time}  2145

  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I thank the gentleman 
for his comments, and I appreciate his words about the Jetsons. Both 
previous speakers mentioned we have to be smart with the smart cars of 
the future. I would say if we are not smart, we may end up like the 
Flintstones, instead of the Jetsons. So it is very important for us to 
do the long-term planning we need to in this body.
  Also the gentleman mentioned the document from the Energy Future 
Coalition, which I also have. National security is a very, very 
important part of this discussion, and it really irritates me that we 
are financing our foes in the Middle East by sending all this money 
over there which they are diverting into instruments of war against us.
  With that, I am pleased to recognize our final speaker of the day, 
another scientist, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Bartlett), who is 
an expert on what is called ``peak oil.'' In other words, we talked 
about the finiteness of the oil and natural gas supplies. The gentleman 
from Maryland (Mr. Bartlett) is the expert, and he will explain that to 
  Mr. BARTLETT. Mr. Speaker, I really want to thank the gentleman for 
organizing this hour this evening.
  The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) mentioned the energy future, 
and I have a chart here which looks at the past. If you understand how 
we have gotten here, why, you may be able to see the future a little 
  The gentleman mentioned the wood, and that is the brown line way down 
here. Then the gentleman mentioned

[[Page H3190]]

coal. We transitioned, and the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest) 
mentioned that also. We transitioned to coal. You see that we got lots 
more energy out of coal than we got out of wood.
  Then look at the energy that we get out of oil. Of course, as we look 
to the future, we need to find something that will at least come close 
to producing the kind of energy that we get from oil.
  Our next slide relates to something the gentleman said about energy 
represents the ability to do work. Here we have a chart which lists the 
energy density in a variety of things that we get energy from.
  To kind of put this in perspective, I would like to note that if we 
come down here to crude oil, I will give you some idea of the energy 
density of crude oil, one barrel of crude oil, 42 gallons, represents 
the energy from 25,000 man-hours of labor. That is about 12 man years 
of labor. That is the equivalent of having 12 people that work all year 
for you. And what will it cost you for that? $100 today, about $50 for 
the barrel of oil and maybe $50 to refine it and distribute it. So that 
is the kind of energy density that we get from fossil fuel.
  Now, we are going to have to find something that comes close that 
that in the quantities we are using fossil fuels. We are talking about 
oil and gas. We use in our country 21 million barrels of oil a day. The 
rest of the world uses 63 million barrels of oil a day. That is 84 
million barrels of oil a day total.
  If you look here, you will see we did go to higher and higher energy 
density fuels. As we moved along, you can burn domestic refuge, and we 
ought to be doing that, by the way, instead of putting it in landfills. 
We ought to be burning that. Some are doing that. You get heat for the 
surrounding houses, you get electricity from it.
  Brown coal, that is not very good coal. Straw, you can burn bailed 
straw, that is called biomass. There are lots of things you can do with 
biomass. In some parts of the world they burn dried dung. That also has 
lots of energy in it, about the same as wood.
  Then we move to black coal, that is what we really mean by coal. You 
see coal has a higher energy density than wood. And here is coke and 
ethanol. Notice that ethanol has a lesser energy density than crude oil 
and diesel and petrol, that is what you put in your car. Naptha has a 
higher energy density, aviation fuel a still higher energy density, and 
natural gas, it was mentioned, the hydrogen content goes higher and 
higher in these so you get more energy out of it.
  The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) mentioned the agricultural 
revolution. We have a chart here that looks at the agricultural 
revolution. This is a very interesting chart.
  The top part of the chart shows how we get energy from petroleum, and 
it goes from petroleum clear down to gasoline and all of the energy 
inputs in the stages that are involved in doing that. You have to 
recover it. Here is the energy input that you need to recover it. You 
have to transport it. You have got to refine it. You have got to 
transport it again. And this is what you get from it, 1 million Btus of 
gasoline at the refueling station. And what did that cost you? It cost 
1.23 million Btus. So about a fifth of all the energy you started with 
in petroleum now is gone in getting this gallon of gasoline.
  Well, on the other side here we have now energy from ethanol, from 
corn. If you go down, we have to farm the corn, we have to produce it, 
we have to transport it, we have to produce it, we have to transport it 
again to where you are going to use it, and we still have the 1 million 
Btus, a little more than a gallon here, by the way, because it does not 
have the energy density of gasoline. But still we are making the 
equivalent 1 million Btus. Notice that that took 0.74 million Btus of 
fossil energy. The difference, of course, was the energy we got from 
the sun. So here we are capturing energy from the sun to make ethanol.
  The bottom of this chart is really very interesting, because this 
points to a big problem that we face in this country particularly, and 
in the world in general, as the availability of fossil fuels winds 
down, because this is the total energy requirement that goes into a 
bushel of corn.
  Notice the kind of energy that goes into that bushel of corn. Nearly 
half of it is nitrogen. That comes from natural gas. Before we learned 
how to get it from natural gas, the only place we got it from was barn 
yard manuers or plants that put it in the soil in rotation farming or 
guano that we mine from bath caves and tropical islands.
  Notice as we go around this pie, the input of oil. Here we have input 
hauling, that is oil. Water, that was moved probably with energy from 
fossil fuels. Chemicals, a lot of host chemicals are made from fossil 
fuels, an enormous petrochemical industry. Custom work. The fellow came 
in to do custom work, he used some oil. His tractor was made with oil. 
Natural gas. Electricity. Natural gas goes along with oil. Electricity 
could have been produced with natural gas or oil. Propane, again, a 
product of fossil fuels. Gasoline, diesel.
  So far, almost everything here is the product of oil or oil itself, 
is it not? And then we get to some things we mine. We can mine 
phosphate, lime and potash, but it takes energy to mine those and that 
energy probably came from oil. So the food you eat in a very real sense 
is oil, is it not, because that is where the energy came from to 
produce that food.
  Then you have the very interesting chart of income savings and 
inheritance, and I have a chart here that looks at some of the 
alternatives. These have been mentioned. We will just spent a couple of 
moments looking at these alternatives, because we have been talking 
about it this evening.
  We have some finite resources and we need to husband those carefully. 
We need to use them only as we have to. Some of them will not be very 
valuable. Tar sands and oil shale may cost you almost as much to get 
the energy as you get out of the energy after you have gotten it. Coal, 
and I want to put a coal chart up here in just a moment, because that 
is a very interesting one. And then nuclear. Several of the speakers 
have mentioned nuclear this evening.
  There are three kinds of ways you can get power from nuclear. Fusion, 
I hope we get there. If we get there we are home free, are we not? I 
think the odds of getting there are not all that good, so you better 
not bank on it, the same way you better not bank on solving your 
personal economic problems by winning the lottery. That would be nice 
too, but the odds are not real high that you are going to do it. Then 
there is the light water reactor, which we have, and then there is the 
breeder reactor, which we do not have, which we are certainly going to 
have to look at if we are going to be serious of getting nuclear 
  Then there is a whole list of renewables here. These are the ones we 
really need to be focusing on. But the big challenge here is, and I 
want to put the last chart up, is to move so we can make do with the 
energy from these alternatives, because it is not going to be as 
available in as large a quantity or with the energy density of the 
fossil fuels. So I want to put up the last chart, and that is the chart 
that shows the things we need to be doing.
  These are the kind of things we need to be doing. The first thing we 
need to be doing is voluntary conservation. Let me put up very quickly 
the chart that shows California. This is a really interesting one.
  It shows that you do not have to depreciate the quality of life to 
useless energy. Californians use about 60 percent as much energy per 
person as in the rest of the country. It would be hard to argue they do 
not have a good lifestyle.
  Let me put this down and look at the next one. The next thing we need 
to do, we need to organize voluntary conservation. If we can organize, 
we can do a little better job. Then this is with the government cuts in 
now. We need to have monetary incentives, some policies for volunteer 
conservation. We have to conserve to buy time so we can use the fossil 
fuels remaining, not only total fuel our present economy, to make the 
investment we need to make in these renewables so we will be able to 
sustain ourselves for the duration.
  Then we need to go to efficiency. We have done a lot with efficiency. 
Your present refrigerator is at least twice as good as the one 20 years 
ago in terms of efficiency. Then again the government is involved, we 
need to have monetary incentives and policies for efficient 
  I would say to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers), we should 

[[Page H3191]]

been moving down this path for the last 25 years, because in 1980 we 
knew absolutely moving down Hubbard's Peak. Tomorrow I think we have 
another opportunity in one of these special order hours to talk about 
this. We will be able to do this in more detail. I thank the gentleman 
for yielding to me and for organizing this hour this evening.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I thank the gentleman 
from Maryland. The gentleman has given an excellent presentation. 
Unfortunately, we do not have time to go into details, but as the 
gentleman mentioned, I believe we have other time next week when we can 
do that. I look forward to hearing more from the gentleman about his 
field of expertise.
  Mr. Speaker, I would also enter into the record a letter from the 
Energy Future Coalition which was sent to President George W. Bush 
along with some attached material which I think is very important for 
our colleagues to peruse and it will certainly be of interest to other 
people in this Nation.
  I want to thank the four gentlemen who joined me here this evening, 
all of them are experts in different areas relating to energy. They 
have done an excellent job of presenting things, and I hope this 
clarifies the energy situation and sheds some light on our efforts to 
ensure that we advance energy efficiency, advance energy conservation, 
advance development of new sources of energy, and, in particular, in 
terms of the chart I used, let us get away from using our savings; let 
us get on to using our income and some of our inheritance so that we 
have a balanced economy in the future and a safer Nation.

        `Set America Free' a Blueprint for U.S. Energy Security


       Historically, the United States has pursued a three-pronged 
     strategy for minimizing the vulnerabilities associated with 
     its dependency on oil from unstable and/or hostile nations: 
     diversifying sources of oil, managing inventory in a 
     strategic petroleum reserve and increasing the efficiency of 
     the transportation sector's energy consumption. In recent 
     years, the focus has been principally on finding new and 
     larger sources of petroleum globally.
       Rapidly growing worldwide demand for oil, however, has had 
     the effect of largely neutralizing this initiative, depleting 
     existing reserves faster than new, economically exploitable 
     deposits are being brought on line. Under these 
     circumstances, diversification among such sources is but a 
     stop-gap solution that can, at best, have temporary effect on 
     oil supply and, hence, on national security. Conservation can 
     help, but with oil consumption expected to grow by 60 percent 
     over the next 25 years, conservation alone will not be a 
     sufficient solution.

                     The `Set America Free' Project

       Long-term security and economic prosperity requires the 
     creation of a fourth pillar--technological transportation of 
     the transportation sector through what might be called ``fuel 
     choice.'' By leading a multinational effort rooted in the 
     following principles, the United States can immediately begin 
     to introduce a global economy based on next-generation fuels 
     and vehicles that can utilize them:
       Fuel diversification: Today, consumers can choose among 
     various octanes of gasoline, which accounts for 45 percent of 
     U.S. oil consumption, or diesel, which accounts for almost 
     another fifth. To these choices can and should promptly be 
     added other fuels that are domestically produced, where 
     possible from waste products, and that are clean and 
       Real world solutions: We have no time to wait for 
     commercialization of immature technologies. The United States 
     should implement technologies that exist today and are ready 
     for widespread use.
       Using existing infrastructure: The focus should be on 
     utilizing competitive technologies that do not require 
     prohibitive or, if possible, even significant investment in 
     changing our transportation sector's infrastructure. Instead, 
     ``fuel choice'' should permit the maximum possible use of the 
     existing refueling and automotive infrastructure.
       Domestic resource utilization: The United States is no 
     longer rich in oil or natural gas. It has, however, a wealth 
     of other energy sources from which transportation fuel can be 
     safely, affordably and cleanly generated. Among them: 
     hundreds of years worth of coal reserves, 25 percent of the 
     world's total (especially promising with Integrated 
     Gasification and Combined Cycle technologies); billions of 
     tons a year of biomass, and further billions of tons of 
     agricultural and municipal waste. Vehicles that meet consumer 
     needs (e.g., ``plug-in'' hybrids), can also tap America's 
     electrical grid to supply energy for transportation, making 
     more efficient use of such clean sources of electricity as 
     solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and nuclear power.
       Environmentally sensible choices: The technologies adopted 
     should improve public safety and respond to the public's 
     environmental land health concerns.

             Key Elements of the `Set America Free' Project

       Hybrid electric vehicles: There are already thousands of 
     vehicles on America's roads that combine hybrid engines 
     powered in an integrated fashion by liquid fuel-powered 
     motors and battery-powered ones. Such vehicles increase gas-
     consumption efficiency by 30-40 percent.
       Ultralight materials: At least two-thirds of fuel use by a 
     typical consumer vehicle is caused by its weight. Thanks to 
     advances in both metals and plastics, ultralight vehicles can 
     be affordably manufactured with today's technologies and can 
     roughly halve fuel consumption without compromising safety, 
     performance or cost effectiveness.
       ``Plug-in'' hybrid electric vehicles: Plug-in hybrid 
     electric vehicles are also powered by a combination of 
     electricity and liquid fuel. Unlike standard hybrids, 
     however, plug-ins draw charge not only from the engine and 
     captured braking energy, but also directly from the 
     electrical grid by being plugged into standard electric 
     outlets when not in use. Plug-in hybrids have liquid fuel 
     tanks and internal combustion engines, so they do not face 
     the range limitation posed by electric-only cars. Since 
     fifty-percent of cars on the road in the United States are 
     driven 20 miles a day or less, a plug-in with a 20-mile range 
     battery would reduce fuel consumption by, on average, 85 
     percent. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can reach fuel 
     economy levels of 100 miles per gallon of gasoline consumed.
       Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs): FFVs are designed to burn on 
     alcohol, gasoline, or any mixture of the two. About four 
     million FFV's have been manufactured since 1996. The only 
     difference between a conventional car and a flexible fuel 
     vehicle is that the latter is equipped with a different 
     control chip and some different fittings in the fuel line to 
     accommodate the characteristics of alcohol. The marginal 
     additional cost associated with such FFV-associated changes 
     is currently under $100 per vehicle. That cost would be 
     reduced further as volume of FFVs increases, particularly if 
     flexible fuel designs were to become the industry standard.
       Flexible fuel/plug-in hybrid electric vehicles: If the two 
     technologies are combined, such vehicles can be powered by 
     blends of alcohol fuels, gasoline, and electricity. If a 
     plug-in vehicle is also a FFV fueled with 80 percent alcohol 
     and 20 percent gasoline, fuel economy could reach 500 miles 
     per gallon of gasoline.
       If by 2025, all cars on the road are hybrids and half are 
     plug-in hybrid vehicles, U.S. oil imports would drop by 8 
     million barrels per day (mbd). Today, the United states 
     imports 10 mbd and it is projected to import almost 20 mbd by 
     2025. If all of these cars were also flexible fuel vehicles, 
     U.S. oil imports would drop by as much as 12 mbd.
       Fuel additives: Fuel additives can enhance combustion 
     efficiency by up to 25 percent. They can be blended into 
     gasoline, diesel and bunker fuel.
       Electricity as a fuel: Less than 2 percent of U.S. 
     electricity is generated from oil, so using electricity as a 
     transportation fuel would greatly reduce dependence on 
     imported petroleum. Plug-in hybrid vehicles would be charged 
     at night in home garages--a time-interval during which 
     electric utilities have significant excess capacity. The 
     Electric Power Research Institute estimates that up to 30 
     percent of market penetration for plug-in hybrid electric 
     vehicles with 20-mile electric range can be achieved without 
     a need to install additional electricity-generating capacity.
       Alcohol fuels: ethanol, methanol and other blends:
       Ethanol (also known as grain alcohol) is currently produced 
     in the U.S. from corn. The industry currently has a capacity 
     of 3.3 billion gallons a year and has increased on the 
     average of 25 percent per year over the past three years. 
     Upping production would be achieved by continuing to advance 
     the corn-based ethanol industry and by commercializing the 
     production of ethanol from biomass waste and dedicated energy 
     crops. P-Series fuel (approved by the Department of Energy in 
     1999) is a more energy-efficient blend of ethanol, natural 
     gas liquids and ether made from biomass waste.
       Methanol (also known as wood alcohol) is today for the most 
     part produced from natural gas. Expanding domestic production 
     can be achieved by producing methanol from coal, a resource 
     with which the U.S. is abundantly endowed. The commercial 
     feasibility of coal-to-methanol technology was demonstrated 
     as part of the DOE's ``clean coal'' technology effort. 
     Currently, methanol is being cleanly produced from coal for 
     under 50 cents a gallon.
       It only costs about $60,000 to add a fuel pump that serves 
     one of the above fuels to an existing refueling station.
       Non-oil based diesel: Biodiesel is commercially produced 
     from soybean and other vegetable oils. Diesel can also be 
     made from waste products such as tires and animal byproducts, 
     and is currently commercially produced from turkey offal. 
     Diesel is also commercially produced from coal.
     Policy Recommendations
       Provide incentives to auto manufacturers to produce and 
     consumers to purchase, hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid 
     electric vehicles and FFVs across all vehicle models.

[[Page H3192]]

       Provide incentives for auto manufacturers to increase fuel 
     efficiency of existing, non-FFV auto models.
       Conduct extensive testing of next-generation fuels across 
     the vehicle spectrum to meet auto warranty and EPA emission 
       Mandate substantial incorporation of plug-ins and FFVs into 
     federal, state, municipal and covered fleets.
       Provide investment tax incentives for corporate fleets and 
     taxi fleets to switch to plug-ins, hybrids and FFVs.
       Encourage gasoline distributors to blend combustion 
     enhancers into the fuel.
       Provide incentives for existing fueling stations to install 
     pumps that serve all liquid fuels that can be used in the 
     existing transportation infrastructure, and mandate that all 
     new gas stations be so equipped.
       Provide incentives to enable new players, such as 
     utilities, to enter the transportation fuel market, and for 
     the development of environmentally sound exploitation of non-
     traditional petroleum deposits from stable areas (such as 
     Canadian tar sands).
       Provide incentives for the construction of plants that 
     generate liquid transportation fuels from domestic energy 
     resources, particularly from waste, that can be used in the 
     existing infrastructure.
       Allocate funds for commercial scale demonstration plants 
     that produce next-generation transportation fuels, 
     particularly from waste products.
       Implement federal, state, and local policies to encourage 
     mass transit and reduce vehicle-miles traveled.
       Work with other oil-consuming countries towards 
     distribution of the above-mentioned technologies and overall 
     reduction of reliance on petroleum, particularly from hostile 
     and potentially unstable regions of the world.

                         A New National Project

       In 1942, President Roosevelt launched the Manhattan Project 
     to build an atomic weapon to be ready by 1945 because of 
     threats to America and to explore the future of nuclear 
     fission. The cost in today's prices was $20 billion. The 
     outcome was an end to the war with Japan, and the beginning 
     of a wide new array of nuclear-based technologies in energy, 
     medical treatment, and other fields.
       In 1962, President Kennedy launched the Man to the Moon 
     Project to be achieved by 1969 because of mounting threats to 
     U.S. and international security posed by Soviet space-
     dominance and to explore outer space. The cost of the Apollo 
     program in today's prices would be well over $100 billion. 
     The outcome was an extraordinary strategic and technological 
     success for the United States. It engendered a wide array of 
     spin-offs that improved virtually every aspect of modern 
     life, including but not limited to transportation, 
     communications, health care, medical treatment, food 
     production and other fields.
       The security of the United States, and the world, is no 
     less threatened by oil supply disruptions, price 
     instabilities and shortages. It is imperative that America 
     provide needed leadership by immediately beginning to 
     dramatically reduce its dependence on imported oil. This can 
     be done by embracing the concepts outlined above with a focus 
     on fuel choice, combined with concerted efforts at improving 
     energy efficiency and the increased availability of energy 
     from renewable sources.
       The estimated cost of the ``Set America Free'' plan over 
     the next 4 years is $12 billion. This would be applied in the 
     following way: $2 billion for automotive manufacturers to 
     cover one-half the costs of building FFV-capability into 
     their new production cars (i.e., roughly 40 million cars at 
     $50 per unit); $1 billion to pay for at least one of every 
     four existing gas stations to add at least one pump to supply 
     alcohol fuels (an estimated incentive of $20,000 per pump, 
     new pumps costing approximately $60,000 per unit); $2 billion 
     in consumer tax incentives to procure hybrid cars; $2 billion 
     for automotive manufacturers to commercialize plug-in hybrid 
     electric vehicles; $3 billion to construct commercial-scale 
     demonstration plants to produce non-petroleum based liquid 
     fuels (utilizing public-private cost-sharing partnerships to 
     build roughly 25 plants in order to demonstrate the 
     feasibility of various approaches to perform efficiently at 
     full-scale production); and $2 billion to continue work on 
     commercializing fuel cell technology.
       Since no major, new scientific advances are necessary to 
     launch this program, such funds can be applied towards 
     increasing the efficiencies of the involved processes. The 
     resulting return-on-investment--in terms of enhanced energy 
     and national security, economic growth, quality of life and 
     environmental protection--should more than pay for the seed 
     money required.
       Gary L. Bauer, President, American Values.
       Milton Copulos, National Defense Council Foundation.
       Congressman Eliot Engel.
       Frank Gaffney, Center for Security Policy.
       Bracken Hendricks, Apollo Alliance.
       Col. (ret.) Bill Holmberg, American Council on Renewable 
       Anne Korin, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security.
       Deron Lovaas, Natural Resources Defense Council.
       Gal Luft, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security.
       Cliff May, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
       Hon. Robert C. McFarlane, Former National Security Advisor.
       Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum.
       Professor Richard E. Smalley, 1996 Nobel Laureate in 
       Admiral James D. Watkins, Former U.S. Secretary of Energy.
       Hon. R. James Woolsey, Former director of the CIA, Co-
     Chairman, Committee on the Present Danger.
       Meyrav Wurmser, Hudson Institute.

                                       Energy Future Coalition

                                   Washington, DC, March 24, 2005.
     Hon. George W. Bush, President of the United States,
     The White House,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. President: As individuals with a deep commitment 
     to our nation's security and well-being, we share our 
     overriding concern for the protection of the United States. 
     That is why we have come together to urge you and your 
     Administration to focus anew on a matter that directly 
     affects our national security: America's growing dependence 
     on foreign oil.
       We believe that: The United States' dependence on imported 
     petroleum poses a risk to our homeland security and economic 
     well-being. Increasing petroleum consumption by developing 
     economies like China and India will exacerbate this risk. 
     Some foreign interests have used oil revenues in ways that 
     harm our national security. With only two percent of the 
     world's oil reserves but 25 percent of current world 
     consumption, the United States cannot eliminate its need for 
     imports through increased domestic production along. An 
     equivalent emphasis on demand-side measures--development and 
     deployment of clean, domestic petroleum substitutes and 
     increased efficiency in our transport system--is essential.
       You have recognized the threat. As you said on the South 
     Lawn on February 25, 2002, dependence on foreign oil ``is a 
     challenge to our economic security, because dependence can 
     lead to price shocks and fuel shortages. And this dependence 
     on foreign oil is a matter of national security. To put it 
     bluntly, sometimes we rely upon energy sources from countries 
     that don't particularly like us.''
       Mr. President, we agree. We are writing today to urge that 
     the United States respond--as it has so ably to other 
     national security challenges--with a focused, determined 
     effort that accepts nothing less than success. To reduce the 
     risk of an oil shock in a global market, we must reduce our 
     use of foreign oil. We ask that you launch a major new 
     initiative to curtail U.S. consumption through improved 
     efficiency and the rapid development and deployment of 
     advanced biomass, alcohol and other available petroleum fuel 
       Most importantly, we believe that, to demonstrate our 
     seriousness and resolve, this effort must be funded at a 
     level proportionate with other priorities for our nation's 
     defense. An investment of no more than $1 billion over the 
     next five years, for example, would establish a domestic 
     alternative fuels industry that could significantly reduce 
     our consumption of foreign oil.
       We do not know today what form a crisis over oil will take, 
     but we know that a crisis is coming--one that could harm the 
     United States. Action to prepare for that day will pay 
     dividends for our national security, out international 
     competitiveness, and our future prosperity. We respectfully 
     urge that you call on the Congress to join you in supporting 
     the funding and other strong measures needed to reduce our 
     dependence on foreign oil, such as those set out in our 
     enclosed Findings and Recommendations. As Sun Tzu wrote, 
     ``The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of 
     the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive 
     Robert C. McFarlene,
     R. James Woolsey,
     Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.,
     C. Boyden Gray,
     Timothy E. Wirth.
     Additional Signatories
       Lt. Gen. John S. Caldwell, Jr., USA (Ret.).
       Milton R. Copulos, National Defense Council Foundation.
       Adm. William T. Crowe, Jr., USN (Ret.); former Chairman of 
     the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
       Hon. John H. Dalton, Former Secretary of the Navy.
       Vice Adm. Robert F. Dunn, USN (Ret.).
       Brig. Gen. Gordon Gayle, USMC (Ret.).
       Hon. Sherri W. Goodman, Former Deputy Under Secretary of 
       Vice Adm. Lee Gunn, USN (Ret.); Institute for Public 
     Research, Center for Naval Analysis.
       David A. Harris, American Jewish Committee.
       Hon. Gary Hart, Former U.S. Senator; Co-Chair, U.S. 
     Commission on National Security for the 21st Century.
       Rear Adm. Leland S. Kollmorgen, USN (Ret.).
       Gen. Richard L. Lawson, USAF (Ret.); former President, 
     National Mining Association.
       Gal Luft, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security.
       Lt. Gen. William R. Maloney, USMC (Ret.).
       Clifford D. May, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
       Vice Adm. Dennis V. McGinn, USN (Ret.).
       Hon. William A. Nitze, The Gemstar Group.
       John L. Peterson, The Arlington Institute.
       Hon. Robert B. Pirie, Jr., Former Secretary of the Navy 
       Hon. John D. Podesta, Center for American Progress; former 
     White House Chief of Staff.

[[Page H3193]]

       The Hon. David Oliver, Jr., Former Principal Deputy Under 
     Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and 
       Hon. Joe R. Reeder, Former Under Secretary of the Army.
       Maj. Gen. J. Milnor Roberts, USAR (Ret.).
       Vice Adm. Richard H. Truly, USN (Ret.); former Director of 
     the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
       Adm. James D. Watkins, USN (Ret.); former Secretary of 

                        Energy Future Coalition

         the national security and petroleum dependence project

     Findings and Recommendations
       Findings: U.S. dependence on foreign petroleum poses a 
     serious risk to our national and homeland security as well as 
     our economic well-being; Increasing petroleum consumption by 
     developing economies like China and India will exacerbate 
     this risk; Some foreign interests have used oil revenues to 
     purchase destabilizing weapons or to support terrorism; With 
     just 2 percent of the world's oil reserves and 25 percent of 
     current world consumption, the U.S. cannot eliminate its need 
     for imports through increased domestic production alone; 
     equivalent demand-side measures are essential; Technologies 
     exist today that can improve efficiency and produce clean, 
     domestic petroleum substitutes; The cost of action is far 
     smaller than the risk of inaction, and there is no excuse for 
     further delay.
       1. It should be a top national security priority of the 
     United States to significantly reduce its consumption of 
     foreign oil through improved efficiency and the rapid 
     substitution of advanced biomass, alcohol and other available 
     alternative fuels, and this effort should be funded at a 
     level proportionate with other priorities for the defense of 
     the nation.
       2. In addition to research and development, such 
     investments should include tax credits and other incentives 
     to encourage: (a.) Rapid production and consumer purchase of 
     advanced vehicles like hybrids, plug-in hybrids and flexible 
     fuel vehicles; (b.) Production of more efficient vehicles 
     across all models; (c.) Construction of domestic facilities 
     to produce alternative fuels from domestic resources; and 
     (d.) Wide deployment of alternative liquid fuel options at 
     existing fueling stations.
       3. The Federal Government should consider mandating 
     substantial incorporation of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and 
     flexible fuel vehicles into federal, state, municipal and 
     other government fleets.