Oil Cost Driving Energy Policy Shift

Congress begins work Tuesday on a bill to boost production and conservation.

Published: 05-Apr-2005

N class=dateline>WASHINGTON - For a generation Americans have commuted, heated their homes, manufactured goods, and expanded foreign trade without any major overhaul of energy policy.

Proponents of oil exploration and conservation never went away, but their urgings were muffled by an era of relatively cheap oil.

Now the momentum is finally shifting.

With crude oil topping $55 a barrel and 55 Republicans in the US Senate - up from 50 before the November elections - major energy legislation now appears much more likely to pass than it did even a year ago.


Visits to China, India, Malaysia and Pakistan are significant because the trip spells out the Saudi Kingdom's Look East policy, representing a new reorientation in its foreign policy that was heavily tilted toward the West.

The worst two scenarios suggest a drastic decline in output to 875,000 barrels a day by the end of 2007 and to just 520,000 a day by the end of 2008.

Bush said he envisioned a future in which a plug-in hybrid car could drive 40 miles on a lithium-ion battery, then stop at a filling station for ethanol, a fuel usually made from corn, similar to HyMotion Prius pictured below.


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