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A Word from John Hofmeister
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Following his stint as Shell, John Hofmeister founded the not-for-profit, grassroots firm Citizens for Affordable Energy.

Nancy Agin

August 9, 2010

“We’re headed for an energy abyss,” cautions John Hoffmeister. “Absent a robust energy system that keeps supply just above demand, we will find ourselves as an economy that’s eroding, a society that is diminishing in influence and as a society that is rife with evermore hostile partisan political behavior.”

Hofmeister is the author of Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Energy Insider (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and recently discussed peak oil, energy policy and future energy supplies in the OilandGasInvestor.com webinar “Industry Icons: Leslie Haines Talks With Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister,” now available on demand.

Following his stint as Shell Oil president, heading the Dutch oil major’s businesses in the U.S. from 2005 to 2008, Hofmeister founded the not-for-profit, grassroots firm Citizens for Affordable Energy to educate the masses on securing future energy supplies amid new policies currently bottlenecking long-term oil and gas production.

“I think we saw some extraordinary public policy play out over the recent weeks as an aftermath of the BP blowout…which demonstrates the misguided, misunderstood and misdirected determinations of elected officials as to what the energy future of this country should or should not be,” Hofmeister notes.

The senior executive underscores that the Obama administration is “providing little or no leadership other than some politically inspired initiatives that, on the one hand, are attempting to hold BP accountable, but on the other hand, are broad-brushing the entire industry with the worst dimensions of the blowout.”

Further, Hofmeister sees the nation and industry on the brink of both political and regulatory fallout. “We are at a very critical stage of decision-making,” he stresses. “The punitive legislation coming out of the House of Representatives, if enacted as law, in my judgment will result in serious redirection of investment efforts by major companies away from U.S. natural resource development because of the prohibitive nature of the legislation.”

As an industry insider with the foresight to identify a storm on the horizon, Hofmeister says, “I see this partisan paralysis existing in the political process, and I say to myself ‘what are these people doing to themselves?’”

A man on a mission

According to Hofmeister, who currently holds the reins as CEO of the Washington, D.C.-registered organization, Citizens for Affordable Energy is an effort to meet the oncoming storm. The group focuses on four primary talking points, punctuated by an insistence for better government to dictate better industry practices and policy in the coming years.

The goal, Hofmeister reiterates, is to develop a sustainable energy policy rooted in the realities of current supply-and-demand fundamentals and one that will not, as the proverbial saying goes, bite the hand that feeds.

The “four mores,” as Hofmeister calls them, are initiatives to solve future energy requirements on the domestic front. Essentially, the nation needs “more energy from all sources; more efficiency in the use of energy through technology; more environmental protection so that land, water and air are better for next generations; and more infrastructure to deliver energy from where it is produced to where it is consumed,” Hofmeister says.

“We were always a nation that has always had more energy than it needed. Now we don’t have enough to satisfy its daily demands somewhere in the 2020 timeframe,” Hoffmeister contends.

Find the original article at:  http://www.oilandgasinvestor.com/Headlines/2010/8/item65136.php

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