(EnergyAsia, March 30) — A key subcommittee in the US House is examining world energy demand, calling for a special hearing to study global energy and mineral consumption increases from emerging economies such as China and India.


Jim Gibbons (R-NV), chairman of the House Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals said: “Just as the energy and mineral demands of the US continue to grow, so too do the energy and mineral needs of developing nations such as India and China. We need to better understand the changes in these nations and the global economy to ensure that we can maintain a continual and dependable mineral and energy supply to support our economy and lifestyle. At the same time, the US must retool its mineral and energy strategy by encouraging, rather than discouraging, investment in domestic natural resource production.”


Energy use will continue to grow among developing countries, accounting for 58% of the growth in world demand in the next 20 years, according to the Energy Information Administration.


While the world and the US especially continue to make advances in energy conservation and renewable technologies, experts predict fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas will remain the dominant source of energy. These are the most affordable sources of energy for the growing, fuel-hungry countries.


Mr Gibbons said: “We’re seeing these developing countries improve the quality of life for their people, but massive economic growth brings a thirst for fuel. The world’s largest energy consumers cannot all drink from the same well. We must begin to look to ourselves to satisfy our energy needs.”


With US foreign energy dependence at all-time high, Pombo introduced the North American Energy Freedom Act of 2005 to work toward energy independence by 2025. The plan, which the chairman hopes to include with the committee’s comprehensive energy bill package, creates a 16-member committee, representing the US, Canada and Mexico, to work for energy independence. North America has the resource base, including natural gas, oil, coal, renewable and alternative energy, to achieve energy independence within 20 years.


The energy and minerals subcommittee also introduced its new “Keeping Pace with Progress” website, which follows the latest news and reports on the growing global demand for energy and minerals.