Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency: U.S. Needs Fuel Diversity

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency: U.S. Needs Fuel Diversity

Article excerpt

The key to North American energy independence is not simply to drill for more oil and gas, said some political scientists and energy executives at an energy symposium on Tuesday.

The University of Oklahoma's Price College of Business sponsored the daylong event, in which experts discussed policy needs for the United States.

R. James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, challenged the definition of energy independence commonly held by many energy executives. Even if the U.S. produces more petroleum and imports less, the country is still vulnerable to price spikes.

"There is no way to get out of this mess with the 'drill, baby, drill' (mentality)," Woolsey told an audience of more than 200 people.

Though more domestic oil and gas production helps create jobs and helps balance the budget, the U.S. needs to have a diversity of liquid fuels for its cars and trucks, Woolsey said.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who was on the panel with Woolsey, agreed. Part of what affects the global price of oil is the cartel, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC.

"As long as OPEC can control the price of oil, we can't become independent," Clark said. "Until we have a choice in fuels, including ethanol and methanol, we won't be able to ameliorate OPEC's ability to hold up the price constraint."

In a later panel discussion, energy executives agreed with Clark and Woolsey. …

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