The United States is experiencing an energy crisis and should lessen its dependence on imported oil and increase domestic energy production or cut back on consumption, US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said Sunday.
"Today we face the greatest energy crisis we've had in 20 years," Abraham said on ABC's This Week news show, echoing comments made earlier in the week by President George W. Bush.
At the heart of the crisis is a projected 45-percent spike in demand for electricity expected over the next 20 years, he said. Meeting that demand would mean building 1,300 new power plants -- more than one a week, he said.
"I don't think we're in a position to go in that direction, exclusively relying on one source for all of our energy needs. If we do that, we've put ourselves in the same kind of risk we're in today," Abraham said.
"So we're going to try to have a more balanced approach, trying to determine what role nuclear power can play, what role renewables can play, what role hydropower can play, what role conventional sources such as natural gas can play."
The Bush administration's view of the energy crisis has been a key factor in its decision to scrap the 1997 UN Kyoto protocol on climate change, which his predecessor Bill Clinton signed in 1998.
"We'll make the right decisions based on a balance between the environment and our energy needs," Abraham said, echoing previous comments by Bush.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)