While the presidential candidates have been crisscrossing the state campaigning, a man who is already the president of a major oil company visited Iowa today. John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Company, says he’s on a campaign of his own.
Hofmeister says the main reason for being here is to “increase the dialogue on energy security.” He says: “By energy security I mean, will energy be available? Will it be affordable for the future? What does the future hold for energy in this country?” Hofmeister says the country needs to look at all sources of energy, including biofuels — but he says biofuels can’t meet all the demand.
Hofmeister says we’re going as fast as we can on biofuels, but he says the reality that most people don’t understand is “every second of every minute of every hour of every day, Americans use 10,000 gallons of oil. That’s a lot.” Hofmeister says he has to worry about getting enough gas to 14-thousand Shell stations every day, “and if we don’t do more about getting oil and gas, we’re going to have serious supply problems at the pump.”
Hofmeister says the demand for oil isn’t diminishing among Americans. He says there will be serious price volatility at the pump if we don’t get more oil and gas. Hofmeister says we can’t do biofuels fast enough to meet the daily growth and demand for traditional gasoline products. He says many policymakers think alternatives are the solution. “Alternatives are part of the solution,” Hofmeister says, “but we still need more oil and gas to meet the economic growth and lifestyle choices of Americans.”
Hofmeister says one of the problems is that oil companies are banned from drilling for oil on 85% of the outer continental shelf. He says they can only drill in 15% of the outer continental shelf and are prohibited from drilling in hundreds of millions of acres of federal land. Hofmeister says we are the only oil importing company in the world that is continue to import more and more oil, while we by public policy prohibit oil companies from developing natural resources in this country. “I think that is a poor policy,” Hofmeister says.
Environmentalists says more drilling in the U.S. could lead to environmental nightmares and harm the environment. Hofmeister says his company takes environmental concerns seriously. “Environmental stewardship is part of our business model,” Hofmeister explains, “if we can’t do it anywhere in the world to a global standard of environmental stewardship, we don’t do it. In other words we cannot stand the thought of any human being coming in contact with the sight, the smell, or the appearance of oil. Oil should not be seen, smelled, tasted or otherwise seen.”
Hofmeister says his company’s work in the Gulf of Mexico is an example of how they protect the environment. He says everyone remembers hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the summer of 2005. Hoffmeister says there were five more hurricanes that summer that forced them to shut down their drilling platforms. He says they were shut down safely with no spills, as they’ve have learned how to protect the environment. Hoffmeister says there will still be oil spills in the world, but his company takes preventing the spills very seriously.