Energy experts led discussions on the path to energy independence, looking at technology's role and the mix of alternatives that could help.Î¾ The forum at the George R. Brown Convention Center featured the former Deputy Secretary of Energy during the Clinton administration — Houston's Mayor Bill White.
"There is no time where this nation has some more serious choices to make and a greater public will to make choices in the right direction on energy policy."
Mayor White says a reality-based energy policy will have certain characteristics, starting with defining objectives.
"You know, security — energy security — really means that there's not excessive risk associated with price volatility or supply interruption."
Former Shell President John Hofmeister spoke in a panel on public policy implications and solutions.
"If we do not invest as a nation in incentivizing our U.S. companies to invest in more domestic natural resources and more domestic energy production, then I think we're hurting ourselves, and I think over the next four to eight years, or ten or 20 years, we will pay a price for penalizing a company that's been successful."
Hofmeister says tax subsidies in the oil and gas industry should fluctuate with oil prices.
"At $40, you've got a lot of projects that are underwater.Î¾ In other words, they're not making money and they're not returning investment.Î¾ It's painful because of the complexity of projects, their deeper drilling, much more expensive technology, higher costs for steel, valves, et cetera."Î¾Î¾
John Hofmeister now heads the Citizens for Affordable Energy, a non-profit public policy education firm.Î¾
Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.