Focus Point - Finding Energy

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. In case you wonder why Dick Cheney's so worked up about U.S. energy policy, you might consider the frustration of people who know where the energy is but just can't get to it thanks to restrictive regulations.

The National Petroleum Council estimates there are more than 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas available - a ten-year supply. But in the rocky mountain area, for example, almost 140 tcfs are exempted from drilling - 40 percent of all the natural gas in the area.

About 50 more tcfs are located off both coasts, but because of bans on drilling, none of it's get-at-able, along with about 25 more tcfs in the Gulf of Mexico.

And a recent consumers' research report pointed out that President Clinton's last minute national monument declarations, and the U.S. Forest Service's plans to bar road building in millions of acres of national forests, put another 10 tcfs out of reach.

Energy independence is nice, but you have to go get the stuff first.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, fairness goes too far.