Market News

 March 13, 2007
Governors Across U.S. Begin Signing Declaration of Energy Independence

 Seven more Governors have signed West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin's Declaration of Energy Independence (copy of the Declaration provided below). The early signatories are:
  • Governor Joe Manchin -- West Virginia
  • Governor Ernie Fletcher -- Kentucky
  • Governor Sonny Perdue -- Georgia
  • Governor Tim Kaine -- Virginia
  • Governor Michael Easley -- North Carolina
  • Governor Dave Freudenthal - Wyoming
  • Governor Martin O'Malley - Maryland
  • Governor Mike Beebe - Arkansas
  • Governor Ruth Ann Minner - Delaware
This brings the total of signing Governors to nine, a number that is certain to grow. Governor Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky was an original Declaration signer, along with Governor Manchin, on January 18, 2007.

Calling the cause "crucial to America's economic future and national security," Governor Manchin said: "This is one of the most important challenges our great nation has ever faced. We now rely on foreign sources for more than 60 percent of our petroleum needs. Many of these sources are highly unstable. The staggering sums of money flowing offshore to pay for oil imports is estimated to cost our country more than $300 billion per year. American jobs, wages and opportunity are being lost needlessly. We have the natural resources, the technology, and the human resources to produce our own alternative liquid fuels without harming the environment. We must take decisive action now to free ourselves from dependence on imported oil."

Governor Manchin is urging the Governors of every state to join together to "provide the leadership and strong national voice required to achieve American energy independence by signing the American Energy Security Declaration of Energy Independence."

"America is not prepared for the consequences that would occur in a potential loss of oil imports. We must take steps now to ensure that alternative fuels are available," said Governor Manchin.

The Declaration of Energy Independence supports the American Energy Security (AES) initiative, being led by the Southern States Energy Board, which Manchin chairs. It urges speedy adoption of the recommendations of the AES Study to create an aggressive, comprehensive domestic alternative liquid transportation fuels program using American resources, American technologies, and American innovation, backed by effective conservation measures. See American Energy Securityfor more information about the AES Study and the ongoing AES initiative.

A copy of the American Energy Security Declaration of Energy Independence is provided as an attachment to this press release, below.

American Energy Security Summit

In addition to spearheading the Declaration of Energy Independence, Governor Manchin will host an "American Energy Security Summit" on April 16-18 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia, to rally support for the American Energy Security Initiative and the policies it recommends. See American Energy Security, for details.

In the United States of America, January 20, 2007

American Energy Security: Declaration of Energy Independence

Whereas, the United States of America has the domestic natural resources, the technologies, the human resources and the financial capital to become energy secure and independent with respect to liquid transportation fuels; and

Whereas, the security of our country is now at risk from substantial and growing dependence on imported petroleum products; and

Whereas, energy independence is in our country's best economic and national security interests; and

Whereas, the United States currently imports approximately sixty percent of its petroleum needs and nearly half of these imports come from highly unstable regions and countries; and

Whereas, imports are projected to grow to over seventy percent by the year 2025 unless the United States changes its policy for producing domestic liquid transportation fuels; and

Whereas, for more than two-hundred years, the United States of America has enjoyed freedom and independence and has served as an example to the rest of the world; and

Whereas, dependence on foreign sources of oil threatens the economic stability and the security of the United States; and

Whereas, the United States of America is now dependent on imported oil to power cars, trucks, trains and planes, as well as homes, schools, hospitals, military and factories; and

Whereas, implementation of high impact programs to produce a full portfolio of alternative domestic liquid transportation fuels, that can and should be manufactured from coal, oil shale, biomass and from non-conventional oil and gas should be developed using environmentally responsible technologies such as gasification and Fischer-Tropsch fuels synthesis, biomass pyrolysis, cellulosic and grain-based ethanol production, biodiesel refining, oil shale retorting and upgrading and carbon dioxide injection and storage in declining oil and gas fields to enhance recovery; and

Whereas, economic, homeland security, energy and environmental benefits from an aggressive, comprehensive domestic alternative liquid fuels program are overwhelmingly favorable in stark contrast to the consequences of inaction which threaten the independence and security of the United States; and

Whereas, the deployment of a full portfolio of domestic alternative fuel production facilities across the United States can be a primary objective to eliminate dependence on foreign oil and still provide for the substantial and growing needs of this great Country; and

Whereas, the United States has maintained its freedom and independence through industrial and military strength; and

Whereas, abundant natural resources, technology, skilled workforce and financial capital are necessary to assure a strong and growing domestic economy and to reestablish true American security and independence.

Now, therefore, the undersigned submit the following:
  • 1. Political instability in the Middle East, Africa and South America render a sizable portion of U.S. oil supplies unreliable. China's and India's rapid growth and aggressive efforts to secure world oil supplies have created substantial new demand and price pressures on world markets.

  • 2. Petroleum imports are the single largest cause of the Nation's negative balance of trade, and oil price spikes are a major cause of inflation and economic slowdown. U.S. oil imports totaled approximately $250 billion, or $680 million per day, in 2005. The average direct and indirect costs to the U.S. economy have been estimated to total about $315 billion per year. U.S. military costs alone to protect oil supplies around the world are in the billions and, even with this unprecedented effort, supplies are still highly vulnerable to attack.

  • 3. Potential supply disruptions from embargos, natural disasters, international regional instability and global production shortfalls present grave risks that America must address. Today's high energy costs can go much higher with little warning. High prices affect everyone, especially those who can least afford them.

  • 4. The tremendous costs and risks to America resulting from dependence on imported oil are becoming more evident every day. Yet, the breadth and depth of opportunities now available to reduce and ultimately eliminate American dependence are not well understood.

  • 5. The United States has trillions of tons of indigenous fossil energy resources and agricultural bio-fuels capacity that collectively rival total worldwide conventional oil resources. The American Energy Security Study shows that domestic resources can be converted to clean alternative transportation fuels in sufficient volume to eliminate dependence on petroleum imports by the year 2030, if aggressive programs begin now.

  • 6. Clean technologies exist to produce large-scale volumes of transportation fuels from indigenous resources of coal, biomass, oil shale and unconventional oil. South Africa, for example, has clearly demonstrated that coal-to-liquids technologies are cost-effective, currently providing for about thirty percent of that country's liquid fuel needs from coal. Other technologies such as cellulosic ethanol and oil shale retorting are rapidly emerging. State-of-the-art co-production plants not only provide near-zero emissions and ultra-clean liquid fuels, but also electricity, chemicals, fertilizer, hydrogen and steam.

  • 7. Today's technologies are capable of producing environmentally superior transportation fuels while removing or capturing almost all pollutants, including sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, mercury and carbon dioxide. The United States can set an example for the world by implementing these next generation clean technologies.

  • 8. Carbon dioxide can be economically captured in high-tech fuel manufacturing facilities. This carbon dioxide can then be utilized to enhance the large scale production of domestic oil, gas and agricultural energy crops while at the same time storing/sequestering the gas to reduce net atmospheric emissions. About two-hundred thousand barrels per day of oil are being produced in the United States using carbon dioxide injection and storage. This can grow to several million barrels per day.

  • 9. Technologies and fuels that advance transportation efficiencies and sensible conservation also must play significant roles in eliminating dependence on imported oil, as set forth in the American Energy Security Study. A shift to diesel, Fischer-Tropsch diesel and diesel hybrids, for example, can substantially improve automobile and truck mileage and dramatically lower emissions from nearly every mode of transportation.

  • 10. Renewable wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, biomass and ocean tide and wave technologies that generate electricity also have a significant role in the future domestic energy resources. Tremendous opportunities now exist to develop multi-source energy complexes that co-produce liquid fuels, natural gas substitutes, hydrogen, electric power, process heat, agricultural fertilizer and petrochemical feedstocks. These "Alternative Energy Farms" offer the potential for significantly improved efficiencies and lower costs.

  • 11. The American Energy Security Study concludes that embarking on a national mission to achieve energy security and independence will decrease risk and reduce oil prices and oil price volatility. It also will facilitate industrial development, create more than a million jobs, foster new technologies, enhance economic growth, protect the environment, eliminate the trade and budget deficits, ensure affordable energy for citizens and strategic fuels for the military and establish a reliable domestic energy base on which to rebuild U.S. industries to be globally competitive.
Therefore, we, the undersigned Governors of the States, Commonwealths and Territories of the United States, in support of the American Energy Security Study, and for the legislative initiatives and priorities being recommended therein, today call upon the President and the 110th Congress of the United States to take strong and focused action to ensure the energy security of the United States of America.

Early Signatories:
  • Governor Ernie Fletcher, Kentucky
  • Governor Joe Manchin, III, West Virginia
  • Governor Sonny Perdue -- Georgia
  • Governor Tim Kaine -- Virginia
  • Governor Michael Easley -- North Carolina
  • Governor Dave Freudenthal - Wyoming
  • Governor Martin O'Malley - Maryland
  • Governor Mike Beebe - Arkansas
  • Governor Ruth Ann Minner - Delaware