Energy Independence Not Possible by 2030 - KPMG


"Most surveyed said mass production of alternative energy simply is not viable in the short term."

Despite the emphasis on alternative energy sources in current and proposed government energy policies, the U.S. cannot attain energy independence by 2030, said a large majority of oil and gas executives recently surveyed by KPMG LLP's Global Energy Institute.

Most surveyed said mass production of alternative energy simply is not viable in the short term. And while there is a marked shift in their acknowledgement of global warming, the majority does not support proposed regulations to stem carbon dioxide emissions.

Since Richard Nixon, U.S. presidents have talked about energy independence. President Barack Obama has called for this country to be independent of crude supplies from Persian Gulf producers by 2020 and from all members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries by 2025. By 2030, he hopes to see renewable energy sources taking much of the national market share from fossil fuels.

But of the 382 oil and gas financial executives polled by KPMG in April, 63% said energy independence is not possible until after 2030. Only 16% said it might happen by 2030, while an optimistic 9% said independence is possible before 2020.

Also, 63% of the respondents said Obama's plan to eliminate tax breaks for intangible drilling costs will actually push more companies to shift their drilling efforts overseas and will result in unconventional oil and gas wells not being drilled in the U.S., a factor that likely will slow the race toward energy independence.

Oil and gas executives are uncertain about which of the competing energy sources will benefit most from the Obama administration's energy policy. The largest segment, 35%, expects wind energy to get the biggest boost. However, 18% favor natural gas, and 17% opted for biofuels. Conversely, 42% of the executives see coal as the biggest loser while 36% said oil will be hardest hit.

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