National Petroleum Council Report Puts Emphasis on Improving Vehicle Fuel Economy
18 July 2007
Implementing stringent fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles is one of the principle strategies needed to reduce petroleum demand that is outlined in a report presented today to the Secretary of Energy by the National Petroleum Council (NPC).
Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman requested the report assessing the future of oil and natural gas through 2030 from the NPC in 2005. The NPC is a formal federal advisory committee to the Secretary of Energy. The 21-month effort by the NPC Committee on Global Oil and Gas, which was chaired by former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond, involved 350 participants, two-thirds of whom were outside the oil and gas industry.
Although the report is not yet published on the NPC website, the committee presented a summary of the work this morning. [Update: the report and supporting materials are now posted on the NPC site. Links below.]
The committee made five core strategic recommendations for the US, based on what they termed six “Hard Truths” about energy demand, supply, sources, security, workforce and carbon emissions.
The committee concluded that, given global growth in energy demand, oil, gas and coal will remain indispensible through 2030, even with the development of biofuels. While the earth is not running out of energy resources, they concluded, there is “accumulating risk” to continuing expansion of oil and natural gas production from the conventional sources.
Expansion of all economic energy sources will be required. Coal, nuclear, biomass, unconventional oil and natural gas. All of these pose significant challenges...we are going to need them all. Given anticipated and projected demand rates, no one segment can be missing.
The five recommendations, all of which the committee deems essential, are:
Moderate demand by increasing energy efficiency;
Expand and diversify the US energy supply;
Strengthen global and US energy security;
Reinforce capabilities new meet new challenges; and
Address carbon constraints.
Moderating demand includes three primary efforts, the first of which is the improvement of fuel economy.
If moderating oil demand growth is a key objective, then improving efficiency of light duty vehicles is a key impact. The potential impact of a doubling of new vehicle fuel economy by 2030...the potential fuel savings is about 3-5 million barrels per day. Of our demand recommendation, this has the biggest potential energy savings.
The other two efforts include improvements in the residential and commercial sectors, and increases in industrial efficiency.
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