Take the Low (Carbon) Road to Energy Security

The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) and the World Resources Institute recently worked together to publish "A Roadmap for a Secure, Low-Carbon Energy Economy."  The Roadmap is intended to produce win-win-win recommendations that benefit energy security, our economy, and the climate.  The Board of CSIS includes dignitaries such as Henry Kissinger, William Cohen, Brent Scrowcroft, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, and is chaired by Sam Nunn.

The Roadmap discusses, among other things, dirty fuels -- those that create more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels.  Those dirty fuels include oil shale, tar sands, and liquid coal.  The authors conclude that these high-carbon fuels are pitfalls that should be avoided because they "....do not offer the promise of long-term security and low emissions" and "....will be costly to develop, and present sizeable environmental challenges, including significantly higher carbon dioxide emissions relative to conventional fossil fuels."

Instead, the authors recommend that U.S. decisionmakers establish a long-term vision for a secure, low-carbon energy future.  In several last-minute actions, the Bush administration attempted to jump-start the oil shale industry at the expense of Western land and water, and the climate.  Fortunately, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has said he will review the Bush action plan for oil shale, which "was not the wise thing to do at this point in time."