Unlikely Alliance Formed to Secure Energy Supplies

Efforts underway on both sides of the Atlantic to address security threat posed by oil addiction with conservative 'Hawks' in the US allying with environmental groups.

Published: 28-Jan-2005

consumers on both sides of the Atlantic on Thursday outlined plans to secure energy supplies and reduce consumption amid growing concern over rising oil prices, potential terrorist threats and surging demand from avoracious China.

In the US, prominent national security hawks have formed an unlikely alliance with environmentalists to lobby US law-makers with a plan to reduce dependence on foreign oil imports as a vital step towards achieving national security.

Their proposal, called “Set America Free”, focuses on reducing oil consumption by the transportation sector, which accounts for about two-thirds of domestic demand. It envisages paying $12bn in incentives over four years to carmakers and consumers to create a market for flexible-fuel cars and encourage the use of hybrid gas-electric cars.

It came as the European Union's top energy official on Thursday vowed to put the security of the bloc's energy supply at the heart of his tenure. AndrisPiebalgs, appointed EU energy commissioner in November, said: “My most important priorities in the coming months are energy efficiency and security of supply.” He said higher energy prices and the growing appetite for oil and gas from emerging economies presented policymakers with a “substantially changed” situation compared with five years ago.

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