Gale Norton on Energy & Oil

Secretary of Interior (Pres. Bush Cabinet)


Balance energy needs with environmental protection

The issue of Americans being so dependent on foreign oil is a great cause for concern. We will have to pull together all of our resources to find ways of addressing those issues. We’ll have to do a lot of planning to be able to find long-term answers. We would hope to work with you to find the right kinds of solutions that would balance environmental protection, as well as finding ways of providing the kind of energy resources that need to be available.
Source: Confirmation Hearings, U.S. Senate , Jan 19, 2001

Will expedite natural gas exploitation in Alaska

Q. In the search for oil in Prudhoe Bay, we found 36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Will you provide all the resources needed to the Joint Pipeline Office in Alaska to help expedite this project?

A. I’m aware of the need for natural gas not just because our economy is expanding and there’s more demand for energy, but also because natural gas is seen as one of the ways of having the cleanest supply of energy. It’s important for us to have some mechanisms to be able to draw upon gas resources.

Source: Confirmation Hearings, U.S. Senate , Jan 19, 2001

Have open mind on global warming; there’s no consensus

Q: You have written that there is little consensus over whether global warming is occurring.

A: I will maintain an open mind and receive new scientific information as it is put forward. There is still disagreement as to the causes and the long- term future. And obviously, there is disagreement about what ought to be done in that regard. I will certainly rely on scientific information as it becomes available.

Source: Confirmation Hearings, U.S. Senate , Jan 19, 2001

Member of Bush’s National Energy Policy Development Group.

Norton is a member of Bush’s National Energy Policy Development Group:

    The National Energy Policy Development (NEPD) Group was directed by President Bush to “develop a national energy policy designed to… promote dependable, affordable, and environmentally sound production and distribution of energy for the future.”The National Energy Policy we propose follows three basic principles:
  1. The Policy is a long-term, comprehensive strategy. Our energy crisis has been years in the making, and will take years to put fully behind us.
  2. The Policy will advance new, environmentally friendly technologies to increase energy supplies and encourage cleaner, more efficient energy use.
  3. The Policy seeks to raise the living standards of the American people, recognizing that to do so our country must fully integrate its energy, environmental, and economic policies.

    Applying these principles, we urge action to meet five specific national goals.
  1. Modernize conservation: The best way of meeting this goal is to increase energy efficiency by applying new technology—raising productivity, reducing waste, and trimming costs.
  2. Modernize our energy infrastructure: To reduce the incidents of electricity blackouts, we must greatly enhance our ability to transmit electric power between geographic regions.
  3. Increase energy supplies: A primary goal is to add supply from diverse sources: domestic oil and gas via high-tech drilling; clean coal research; hydropower and nuclear power.
  4. Accelerate the protection and improvement of the environment: We do not accept the false choice between environmental protection and energy production. An integrated approach to policy can yield a cleaner environment, a stronger economy, and a sufficient supply of energy for our future.
  5. Increase our nation ’s energy security: We must prepare our nation for supply emergencies, and assist low-income Americans who are most vulnerable in times of supply disruption.
Source: National Energy Policy report 01-NEPD0 on May 2, 2001

Tax credits & more funding for renewable energy research.

Norton adopted the National Energy Policy Development Group report:

Source: National Energy Policy report 01-NEPD1 on May 2, 2001

Open small fraction of ANWR for regulated production .

Norton adopted the National Energy Policy Development Group report:

Source: National Energy Policy report 01-NEPD2 on May 2, 2001

Long-term energy stability avoids high-polluting emergencies.

Norton adopted the National Energy Policy Development Group report:

We are all aware of past excesses in our use of the natural world and its resources. No one wishes to see them repeated. In the 21st century, the ethic of good stewardship is well established in American life and law. We do not accept the false choice between environmental protection and energy production. America is using more, and polluting less. The primary reason for that has been steady advances in the technology of locating, producing, and using energy.

One of the factors harming the environment today is the very lack of a comprehensive, long-term national energy policy. States confronting blackouts must take desperate measures, often at the expense of environmental standards, requesting waivers of environmental rules, and delaying the implementation of anti-pollution efforts. Shortfalls in electricity generating capacity and shortsighted policies have blocked construction of new, cleaner plants, leaving no choice but to rely on older, inefficient plants to meet demand. The increased use of emergency power sources, such as diesel generators, results in greater air pollution.

Source: National Energy Policy report 01-NEPD3 on May 2, 2001

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