WASHINGTON Energy experts urged U.S. lawmakers
on Friday to focus on efficiency and renewable energy, as well
as increased domestic production, as they consider legislation
to address volatile fuel prices.
Speaking at a bipartisan energy summit hosted by the U.S.
Senate, experts encouraged lawmakers to invest in research and
technology and make tax credits for renewable energy
"An on-again, off-again production tax credit is not a way
to promote stable development of renewable energy," Daniel
Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, told
"Uncertainty is the enemy of investment, whether for
renewables and alternatives or for conventional energy."
Lawmakers have been locked in a stalemate over how to
handle high fuel costs, specifically whether to lift the
moratorium on offshore drilling.
Although panelists said increasing offshore drilling would
not solve all of America's energy problems, they seemed to
agree that more drilling would be necessary as the nation
transitions to alternative fuels.
"Eliminating fossil fuels any time soon, I would argue, is
impossible because we have nothing to replace them with," said
Frank Verrastro, director of the energy and national security
program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Senators Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota, and
Saxby Chambliss, a Republican from Georgia, requested the
Conrad and Chambliss lead a bipartisan group of Senators
floating an energy package that would expand offshore drilling
to the coasts of four southeastern states and in the eastern
Gulf of Mexico. In addition, the package would boost funding
for renewable energy and repeal some tax breaks for oil
The Senate is expected to vote on the bipartisan package
(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; editing by Jim Marshall)