9:45 a.m. The second panel this morning at the Humphrey Institute’s America’s Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention is entitled “Climate Change and Energy Security.” Moderated by Reid Detchon (Executive Director, Energy and Climate, United Nations Foundation), the panelists are former New York Governor George E. Pataki (Chairman, Pataki-Cahill Group), Robert C. McFarlane (former National Security Advisor to President Reagan, President McFarlane Associates, Inc.), R. James Woolsey (fromer Director of Central Intelligencce under President Clinton, Venture Partner, VantagePoint Venture Partners), and J. Michael Davis (Assistant Laboratory Director, Energy and Environment, Northwest National Laboratory, former Assistant Secretary of Energy under President George H.W. Bush).
9:53 a.m. Bud McFarlane believes the U.S. is in a fix with our dependence on foreign oil, but that in 15 years the U.S. can, not only reduce that dependence with new technologies, but also have a new fleet of cars that will reduce pollution lower than levels required by the Kyoto Treaty.
10:01 a.m. Davis says markets need to be shaped by policy, as they do not care about security interests. Electricity is taken for granted, Davis states, and we need to reshape our way of thinking on the demand side.
10:05 a.m. Detchon introduces Pataki as a ‘green Republican.’ Pataki says there is no area that is more important for policy to impact markets – and it can do so in a positive way. Pataki believes government needs to create incentives for our transportation and energy sectors.
10:12 a.m. Former CIA Director Woolsey says energy must be as secure as possible, as cheap as possible, and as clean as possible. Woolsey states we need to prepare for malignant (accidental) problems as well as malevolent problems (e.g. terrorists). Regarding oil, 9 out of 10 of the largest oil producing nations (Norway being the exception) are kingdoms or dictatorships. Woolsey says we need to move towards using electricity and flexible fuel vehicles. Brazilians went from 5 percent to 75 percent of its vehicle fleet which are flexible fuel in just two years.
10:25 a.m. McFarlane explains how energy policy and security issues in China explain their lack of support for U.N. resolutions to have meaningful sanctions against Iran as well as their seeming indifference to the crisis in Darfur (where China has significant energy investments in both Iran and Sudan). The same can be said for the Europeans towards Russia.
10:45 a.m. Pataki says we need a consistent national policy on energy. The U.S. should lead by example, Pataki states, in order to get China and India to reduce their own emissions.
10:51 a.m. Woolsey says in the venture capital business there is an incentive to look for new, disruptive, innovative practices. Upwards of 85 percent of such investments fail.
11:01 a.m. McFarlane believes there is hope for Detroit being on the brink of a Renaissance in terms of new technology cars. Woolsey agrees and says the president of GM is committed to having some of its vehilcles run on electricity, flex-fuels etc. in the next few years.
11:12 a.m. Both Davis and McFarlane indicate support for drilling in ANWAR, though this is not the overall focus of their energy strategies discussed today.