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Energy: Under Threat in the Western Hemisphere?

Recorded on March 31, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

The Western Hemisphere consumes some 30 million barrels of oil a day, of which 20 million goes to U.S. consumers. As global economies expand, experts predict that rising consumption will bring about an energy crunch in 30 years, unless more hydrocarbon reserves are discovered or new technologies perfected. In Latin America, underground resources are the patrimony of national governments, subjecting them to political as well as market forces. In the last two years, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has declared intentions to end his country's dependence on oil exports to the United States and is even trying to unite Latin American energy producers into an alliance under his leadership. Meanwhile, Bolivia and Ecuador will be renegotiating contracts with foreign producers in ways that may curtail further investment. If Peru elects a populist president this spring, it could do so as well. Our distinguished panelists will discuss U.S. energy policy, real versus imagined threats, and what the United States should do about them.