Second District Congressman Lee Terry has come up with a plan that would make the U-S completely energy independent from foreign oil in the next decade. At a press conference, Terry says, “But it may surprise people that if we simply use all of our resources, wind, alternative fuels and the traditional fuels, we can be energy independent, where we wouldn’t have to rely on one drop of oil from OPEC and we could do it in the next ten years.” He says his plan includes using products already here that are completely a renewable resource.
Congressmen Terry went on to say, “Most of us think the way out of our dependence is with ethanol but ethanol will have its cap. The real breakthrough will be with cellulosic ethanol. By 2020, we can be producing 13 to 14 million barrels per day of cellulosic ethanol that can come from anything. We can use that to make ethanol. Next year, the Dept. of Energy and USDA will start building plants to start making cellulosic ethanol out of switchgrass and wood pulp.”
Terry says we also have to get on the ball and produce our own petroleum products here. He says there is plenty of oil in the U-S alone but the federal government has put the roadblocks on us getting to it. “We also should use our own domestic or traditional petroleum based products. Of these three of the federally owned western shale. We have over a trillion, almost two trillion barrels of oil locked up in the shale in Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Utah. But, where you have oil shale, it has been made federal lands and you cannot extract the oil there.” Terry says this plan can be done.
“The question is how likely is this. This plan is easy and can be put into effect tomorrow and we could have this on line and working in the next 7 to 10 years. The reality is it will take some politically will. I think the right has to move to the middle and the left will have to move to the middle. In the ten years that I have been in Congress, we have tried to open up these two areas in Alaska and the outer continental shelf and it has been defeated in the Senate every time… and I am talking about defeated. Well, now with gas prices approaching 4-dollars and people outraged because a lot of people’s disposable income is going to fill up their gas tank because you go to the grocery store and see increased food prices due to increased transportation costs and a trucking company told me they were paying a dollar a mile for gas for diesel. So, the people are going to have to rise up and everybody come together.”
Terry says the biggest perk would be seen right away…. prices would fall at the gas pump. “And my guess is if we made a commitment to this plan and we passed this in Congress today and it was signed by the president, gas prices would fall overnight because now all of those oil companies in OPEC countries would say, wow, they did it. We didn’t think they would. Now we are going to have to lower our prices to compete.”
Terry says you can blame part of the high price of gas on Congress itself. “We have to find a way to force the oil companies to invest their profits in America. By saying these lands are open is a start. But there is no doubt that we will have to force them to spend their money in America and I am willing to fight that fight. We need them to step up to the plate. They’ve got the money to build all of the infrastructure here. Long answer, it is doable. Is it likely, we have seen votes in the last year, frankly since last November where they have actually voted to take away access. The oil shale that was a vote in November to take away this from the American people by six votes to please a senatorial candidate in Colorado. So, once again, politics took away an option of supply for the American people so we now have to vote to undo what we did in December. So, is it likely, the people will really have to rise up and really put pressure on Congress. A plan like this is very doable to work, to happen.” Terry says all of these oil alternatives, including drilling here in the states, can be done safely and will not disrupt the environment.