US energy independence requires ‘psychological’ shift: Senator

18 June 2013 21:36  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The role of the US in global energy markets is rapidly evolving, and it will take a psychological shift in thinking to continue to move forward, a US senator said on Tuesday.

The shift to a more energy independent country has already occurred below the ground, but now, with more technology available, the US has to economically access resources it couldn’t get to before.

“The challenge is not keeping pace above ground or below ground. It’s psychological,” said US Senator Lisa Murkowski(Alaska), a ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Where energy was viewed as scarce, but with developments we need to now reconsider with the fact that we are in a position of abundance. We have to make a psychological shift.”

The US has overcome technological challenges, including producing oil from shale plays through hydraulic fracturing, which is an indicator that as a country, the US will find a way to push through, Murkowski said during the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2013 Energy Conference.

According to Murkowski, the North American energy revolution, including Canadian development of oil sands, is something in which the whole western hemisphere can participate, but it is not without conflict.

“We’ve taken far too long in my opinion to approve the Keystone Pipeline,” she said, adding that this could hurt relationships with countries such as Canada.

Other actions the US should take include moving forward with liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports so our allies can diversify their supplies and moving LNG from the North Slope in Alaska, she said.

“The only thing we do know for sure is that we don’t know how this will all play out,” she said. "The US should not turn its back on the world when it comes to exporting energy products.”

The EIA 2013 Energy Conference runs through Tuesday.

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By: Anna Matherne

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