Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Keating Wants Foreign Oil Independence

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Keating Wants Foreign Oil Independence

Article excerpt

America needs a declaration of independence from foreign oil, Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating said Monday.

The country also needs a cohesive energy policy designed to encourage exploration and development of domestic and off-shore oil and gas as well as development of alternative energy sources.

Some of this encouragement would come from incentives, along with regulatory reforms, Keating said during a telephone interview from Las Vegas, where he is leading a meeting of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Keating was installed as chairman of the group on Monday. During his tenure, the organization will work to develop a strong policy, then present this framework to Congress and the Clinton administration, he said. "We will undertake studies to show exactly what a barrel of oil is worth and why we are so dependent upon foreign sources," he said. "We will do a thorough technical analysis including regulatory reform and look at other sources of energy. "This policy will not be just to encourage the reduction of energy use, but rather to encourage exploration and development of all domestic sources of energy, including methanol and solar." Also among the incentives Keating mentioned were tax breaks on the national level for exploration and development. The United States imports about half its energy needs, Keating said. "What will happen if that supply is disrupted?" "We've got to attempt to explain to the public that we are dependent upon oil from an uncertain and volatile area of the world." The focus of the commission during his tenure will be to develop and present arguments for a stronger energy policy, something this country has never really had. "This is something (public energy policy debate) that has not been fully enjoined since the 1980s. That's because everyone thought this was just an oil industry thing," Keating said. …

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