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I think the last paragraph says it all and clearly lays out what the future holds.

Cheney Warns U.S. on Energy (AP/Reuters/ABCNews)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Dick Cheney warned Wednesday that the United States must generate more of its own energy or the country risks power shortages like those in California, but on a national scale.

Cheney cited estimates that the United States will need 1,300 new power plants over the next 20 years - roughly 65 each year - to have adequate generating capacity. Plus, he said, those plants will need other infrastructure, such as a means of obtaining the coal or gas and transmission lines.

``Our infrastructure in the energy area is very limited,'' Cheney told MSNBC's ``Hardball.'' ``It's very important we get on with this business of making certain we've got enough energy in the future or we will find that the problems in California today are in fact national in scope and affect all parts of the country.''

As it is, Cheney said, California's problems are spreading into surrounding states partly because of a Clinton administration order for utilities in those states to sell power to California.

``We've got some serious problems there,'' Cheney said. ``We've got to find ways to either increase the supply of energy or reduce the demand for energy. ... This is not something we got into overnight, and we're not going to get out of it overnight.''

Cheney, chairman of the president's energy task force, was echoing concerns voiced earlier this week by Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, who said a failure to address energy supply problems stands to threaten economic prosperity and even national security.

The vice president said the task force's recommendations would focus on long-term solutions, but an important part will focus on the environment.

``In many cases, in recent years, we've had an approach that isn't balanced because it's been so easy to stop projects,'' Cheney said. ``Nobody wants to be able to see a transmission line from their front yard. Nobody wants a gas pipeline through their community. Nobody wants a power plant in their county. ... It's going to be very important that we change the circumstances if we're going to move forward.'

Given the VP's strong ties to utilities I suppose a massive conservation effort is out of the question?

And I'm equally sure that the intent will be to "minimize environmental impact". Which will take us to the same place as all good intentions. I'd blame the majority of voters who voted for Bush, but then, they didn't.





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