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Driving Down the Path to Energy Security

Article by Michael McMahan May 10, 2012 //   2 minute read

Transportation, transportation, transportation. That was the theme of the distinguished panel discussion that I was fortunate to moderate yesterday on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The panel was highlighted by remarks from Herb Kelleher — founder and chairman emeritus of Southwest Airlines — and the release of a new report on domestic energy security.

The consensus of the panel discussion was that when it comes to energy security, the real answers and opportunities lie in the transportation sector. The trucking industry, in particular, is the place to start. In this country we now have the capability to both produce much more natural gas domestically and to reduce oil consumption significantly by making use of natural gas reserves in the trucking sector. The technology for engine conversion currently exists, and natural gas is available in an abundant supply.

General James Conway advocated transportation as an answer because he believes we need to increase the amount of energy we produce while simultaneously reducing the amount we consume. He is exactly right; that’s the only way to become truly energy independent.

We will visit other parts of the panel discussion in the coming days, but the clear take-away from this meeting of minds was that addressing the transportation sector could be a true turning point in the quest for domestic energy security.