WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ --
A dramatic, arbitrary reduction in the use of oil -- as some environmentalists and government officials now urge -- would require Americans to make wrenching economic and personal sacrifices because oil products support the current pattern of American lifestyles and existing alternatives are either unaffordable or technologically infeasible on a wide-scale basis, according to a new book published today by the American Petroleum Institute.
"The miraculous energy panacea that some environmental activists seem to be dreaming of doesn't exist," says the book, "Reinventing Energy."
In announcing the publication of "Reinventing Energy," Charles J. DiBona, president of API, said that the new book is intended to help the average American -- as well as the serious policy maker and the thoughtful environmentalist -- make wise choices about energy and the environment. He said that individual and public policy decisions too often are made in an atmosphere of hype and hyperbole. As a result, the facts needed to make the best choices can be hard to come by.
"This book fills that gap," DiBona said. He said that "Reinventing Energy," which was written by a team of API economists and environmental analysts, could not be more timely. He said that Americans owe it to themselves to examine the facts, reveal the realities obscured by the myths and look objectively at the topic of reinventing energy.
As new technologies evolve, consumers should have the option of choosing fuel based on cost, performance and its ability to meet environmental goals, the book says. And while all fuels -- oil, natural gas, ethanol, electricity, solar, coal and other energy sources -- offer both advantages and disadvantages for many uses, oil's advantages outweigh any disadvantages at this time.
The 99-page book examines the full range of energy issues and concludes that, for the foreseeable future, the facts simply do not support the contention of activists who believe that oil use must be curtailed and that Americans should be required to use less oil for transportation, heating homes and producing goods -- regardless of economic or lifestyle consequences. Here is a summary of the book's findings:
We need additional scientific research and the adoption
of low-cost, high- benefit policies, but not an immediate, forced
transition from oil. "Reinventing Energy" provides historical
context for today's energy debate, explaining how changes in energy
use have altered the shape and structure of society. Gasoline-powered
automobiles, for instance, replaced horse-drawn carts and made
it possible for middle-class workers to live in the new suburbs.
"People have been reinventing how society uses energy since
the dawn of civilization," the book says. The reinvention
continues today as energy and technology evolve to ever more sophisticated
levels, providing energy users with more efficient refineries
and a new generation of cleaner-burning fuels. Despite the progress
made in reinventing oil and oil products that meet tough new environmental
standards, some environmental activists continue to advocate government
policies that force Americans to make costly and wrong energy
choices, the book says. "Americans are making the right energy
choices now, based on the relative merits of the fuels available
in the marketplace and the state of today's technology. Our current
reliance on oil makes economic, environmental and common sense."
CONTACT: Molly McCartney 713-646-6961, or Joe Lastelic 202-682-8125, both for the American Petroleum Institute