US needs shift to alternative transportation fuels: DOE secretary

17 June 2013 18:37  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--More efficient, alternative fuels in the automotive industry could push the US toward becoming a more energy secure nation, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said on Monday.

The recent increase in US oil production has caused crude imports and exports to equalize, and according to Moniz, since oil prices directly affect gasoline prices, the US needs to reduce its strategic value of gasoline as a transportation fuel.

According to Moniz, in 2009, the American automotive industry was in collapse, and sales dropped by 40%. But today, the industry looks completely different, with manufacturing rates doubling since 2009.

“We should look back a little bit to inform ourselves to how different it’s likely to look in 10 more years,” Moniz said during the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2013 Energy Conference.

The use of alternative fuels could bring about an “electrification of the transportation sector”, Moniz said.

Fuel replacement costs for products such as cellulosic biofuels have fallen in recent years and have led the way for other alternative fuels such as natural gas to take steps forward, the Department of Energy (DOE) secretary said.

“We still don’t know the extent of which similar developments [of natural gas] will occur in other parts of the world, but that will have a major impact on our own liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports,” Moniz said.

The EIA Energy Conference runs through Tuesday.

By: Anna Matherne

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