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Crapo: Energy Needs Deserve Multiple Answers

Says many tools unused in energy "crisis" facing Americans

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo called on his Senate colleagues to seek a balanced, bipartisan solution to the high energy prices facing the country. During a speech on the Senate floor, he said legislation that focuses solely on energy speculators in financial markets needs to be augmented with aggressive plans for new energy production, conservation and alternative energy efforts.

"We ought to take this opportunity with the bill we have on the floor of the Senate to look at other ideas about how we should achieve energy independence," Crapo said. "The point is that there is a tremendous amount of oil in the United States reserves that we could utilize to defend and protect the security of our economy and our nation."

As examples, Crapo noted 86 billion barrels of oil may be untapped off the nation's shores. That number totals almost eight times the amount of oil imported here from the Persian Gulf over the last 15 years. Oil shale deposits in Western states could total from 800 billion to 1.8 trillion barrels and could provide a hundred years of domestic energy. Crapo noted those reserves alone could do much to relieve recent supply and demand issues causing the increase in the price of gasoline and diesel fuel.

Crapo's floor remarks came as the Senate debates S. 3268, the Stop Excessive Energy Speculation Act of 2008. The legislation could come to a vote this week and focuses solely on oil speculation in the financial markets.