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IOGCC Press Release - Gov. Huckabee  
Date: December-11-2001



DECEMBER 10, 2001



SANTA FE – Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, calling for state governments to work together to protect the nation’s energy infrastructure from attack, was installed as Chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission today at the IOGCC’s Annual Meeting in Santa Fe, N.M. The IOGCC represents the governors of oil and natural gas producing states.

"The security and integrity of our energy industry are imperiled by two threats – the physical threat represented by the terrorists of Sept. 11, and the economic threat of the present recession," Gov. Huckabee said today. "Either threat alone could be sufficient to cause grave damage to our nation’s economy. Unfortunately, though, they have combined."

"Protecting our energy industry against these twin threats is absolutely vital to our nation’s well being," Gov. Huckabee continued. "The oil and gas that our states produce is the fuel that drives our economy. Economic growth in the late 1990s averaged more than 4 percent per year – an astonishing rate of growth that was largely made possible by the availability of affordable energy supplies. We simply cannot have an economic recovery without a strong energy industry."

Since 1995, the IOGCC has encouraged lawmakers to adopt a sensible National Energy Policy, and this year, the Bush Administration has proposed a policy that is "very agreeable" to the IOGCC’s positions, Gov. Huckabee said. But the battle has not yet been won.

The new Chairman noted that signs of trouble existed before Sept. 11. The U.S. currently imports 56 percent of its oil and that number is expected to grow to more than 62 percent by 2020; the Energy Information Administration predicts total energy consumption over the next 20 years will increase by 32 percent; and the nation’s petroleum infrastructure is reaching its limits though no new refineries have been built in 20 years, he said.

"If a terrorist were to successfully shut down one of our refineries, our vast transportation system could grind to a halt as gas shortages drive up prices," Gov. Huckabee said. "With transportation costs going up, retailers would have an increasingly difficult time obtaining products to stock their shelves. And with no way to ship the products, manufacturers would be forced to cut back on production. As the damage from such an attack rippled through the economy, thousands of Americans would be economically devastated. An attack on naural gas pipelines could mean that thousands of families would face winter with no heat in their homes… And how could we expect gas producers to increase their production without the necessary transmission capability to carry their product to consumers?"

Gov. Huckabee, who succeeds Gov. Tony Knowles of Alaska who served two terms as IOGCC Chairman, called for states to coordinate efforts to protect and expand petroleum production to lessen dependence on foreign oil and promote an economic boost here at home. He also encouraged state regulatory agencies and industry groups to heighten educational efforts to help Americans understand the importance of energy in our future.

The IOGCC, representing the governors of 30 member states and seven associate states, promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. For more information about the IOGCC Annual Meeting, visit the IOGCC Web site at www.iogcc.state.ok.us or call the IOGCC at (405) 525-3556.







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