INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 20, 2007) - If the United States is to move beyond a petroleum-based economy, it will require a stronger commitment by government, industry, and non-governmental leaders, U.S. Sen. Richard G. Lugar said recently in a wide-ranging interview with the website, www.climateandinsurance.org.
Lugar, a six-term Republican senator from Indiana, said “the environment and energy security are interlinked priorities, the advancement of which increases the welfare of all Americans. Conversely, the deterioration of either will harm our national security interests, economic well-being, and our way of life.”
Lugar noted that some of the largest energy companies now foresee a carbon-constrained future and are planning future business models accordingly.
“The insurance industry also may choose to assess the catastrophic risk that accompanies threats to energy security and climate change and be a voice in developing strategies for dealing with environmental calamities related to climate change,” Lugar said.
The Indiana senator has introduced or co-sponsored at least five proposals in the 110th Congress, several of which are bipartisan and are aimed at reducing the country’s reliance on imported oil.
S. 133, the American Fuels Act, would encourage alternative fuel technologies by increasing the production of cellulosic biomass ethanol to 250 million gallons by 2012.
“There is no excuse why a car should not be flexible fuel, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline,” Lugar said. “The cost of this technology is low, but the benefits in giving consumers choice in fuels is high. From a practical perspective, we must then make E85 available at the pumps to consumers by requiring filling stations to install the appropriate pumps.”
As the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Lugar also has introduced S. 193, the Energy Diplomacy and Security Act, which directs the Bush administration to seek formal agreements with India and China to establish their own strategic petroleum reserves that are coordinated with other consumer nations.
“Such a move would give the U.S. and other oil-consuming nations more leverage and flexibility during international oil supply disruptions and help stabilize world oil markets,” Lugar said, who added, “Addressing the joint priorities of energy security and the environment present an opportunity to foster greater economic development and job growth for many Americans.”
Climateandinsurance.org is sponsored by the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and serves as a global forum for how climate change potentially affects the property and casualty insurance industry. The complete Lugar interview can be viewed at www.climateandinsurance.org.
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