Much of this afternoon's panel discussion on strategic resource challenges has focused on the impact of America's natural gas boom on the global energy picture. By Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs David Sandoval cautioned the audience not to think that fracking and pipeline building would lead to an energy-independent America:
Increasing energy supplies in the United States is extremely important. Reducing our oil important plays all kinds of dividends. Energy independence of the type that's usually conceived of in the public mind requires something else, which is to change our transportation fleet so it's no longer as dependent on oil as it is today.
The single most important statistic in the energy world is that 95 percent of the energy used to move our cars and trucks comes from one resource and that's petroleum. That doesn't seem odd to us because we all grew up in a world where 95 percent of our cars and trucks and fueled by petroleum and so did our parents and our grandparents. But it is in some ways odd and it has profound geopolitical implications, profound economic implications, and profound environmental implication.
Sandoval highlighted the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt, as well as vehicles fueled by natural gas and biofuels as potential strategic game changers.