First there was T. Boone Pickens. Now the trend of oil barons going public with their green agendas continues. John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil Company, has put together an environmental advocacy group called Citizens for Affordable Energy. Read more about them, see photos and a video below.
And like T. Boone Pickens, John Hofmeister – retired CEO of Shell Oil – is a man with a plan. This past summer, he formed a non-profit group called Citizens for Affordable Energy. You can find out more about them in detail on their website: citizensforaffordableenergy.org.
Mr. Hofmeister is using his leadership skills to organize Americans who want to improve their quality of life, not simply make a buck off another bubble. Citizens for Affordable Energy is also partnering with various top-tier research institutions to come up with a energy plan for the country.
Their mission statement is simple:
Educate citizens and government officials about pragmatic, non-partisan affordable energy solutions, environmental stewardship, energy alternatives, efficiency, infrastructure, public policy, competitiveness, social cohesion, and quality of life.
Their Energy Plan is based on what John Hofmeister calls the “four mores“:
1. More supply of all kinds of energy. “There should be no barriers to developing energy supplies in this country,” Hofmeister says we’ve done that for too long because when imports were cheap and nobody cared.
2. More pursuit of technology and innovation to more effectively use all forms of energy. That means everything from better conservation to better land use. “Technology represents the best form of conservation,” Hofmeister says.
3. More environmental stewardship. Technology works in our favor in finding ways to reduce emissions of all kinds. We’ve been able to effectively reduce physical and liquid pollutants, and we need to take a similar approach to gaseous waste.
4. More infrastructure — from pipelines to refineries to power plants — to match supply with consumption. Use the capital markets to fund improvements, but ensure that reasonable regulations are adopted. We’re trying to meet tomorrow’s energy needs with yesterday’s planning and rules, he said. We also must ensure that regulations don’t change in midstream, otherwise private companies won’t take the investment risk.
Hofmeister argues that the biggest impediment to solving our country’s energy problems is the political process itself which is focused on expediency rather then a thoroughness to get to the root of the problem.
He says that politicians, much like consumers, prefer easy answers — windfall profits taxes or gasoline tax holidays — rather than complex ones. I think we’ve seen this “logic” several times in the past few years.
“In modern society, energy can’t be turned off,” Hofmeister says. “It’s as important as air, water and food. Energy is survival.”
Developing more secure and cost-effective energy supplies, though, requires a long-term, broad-based effort and I am convinced that we do not have the Congress with the will and courage to do this.
Citizens for Affordable Energy Video