Condoleezza Rice on Energy & Oil
Secretary of State
In 2001, the President wrote to four Republican senators who had asked the administration to clarify its position on limiting greenhouse pollutants. I told the President we needed to change one sentence, which criticized the Kyoto Protocol in the harshest possible terms and suggested we would have nothing to do with it. I wanted to add mitigatin language saying that even though we could not support the treaty because it was fatally flawed, we would work with our allies to address the problem of climate change. But the President said, "It's too late."
In fairness to the President, I think he had thought of the letter as addressing a DOMESTIC issue for our Congress. But I knew better. We suffered through this issue over the years: drawing that early line in the sand helped to establish our reputation for "unilateralism." We handled it badly.
A: Well, we need a comprehensive energy policy, and President Bush has been talking about a comprehensive energy policy practically since the first day that he was elected. It’s very important that we diversify supply. That means that we have to find way --energy sources that are not carbon based. That’s why alternative sources of energy, new technologies will be very important. We simply have put ourselves into a situation in which it’s hard to break our addiction to oil. We’re not going to get out of it quickly, I’m afraid, unless--and it’s high time to get started on the diversification of our energy resources.
A: It is unfortunate that we continue--while we say that we want to be less addicted to foreign oil, which has been one of the president’s goals--we say we want to be less addicted to foreign oil, but then we say to oil producers, “You have to increase supply,“ rather than thinking about what we can do at home to increase supply. And of course, the ability to use our domestic resources, our domestic sources of oil would be a very important part of that. Nuclear energy is another clean technology that we should be using and exploring. We need to increase our refining capacity. It has been a problem for us to be able to refine. And we also need to have exploration at home.
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