US Senator hails Asia energy plan

US Senator hails Asia energy plan

A senior US senator campaigning for global energy security hailed plans for an Asian plan to limit dependence on conventional fuels and expand renewable energy systems.

The energy plan is expected to be adopted by the East Asia Summit, which groups the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

Leaders of the 16 nations meeting in the Philippines next week are expected to sign an agreement to limit dependence on “conventional fuels through intensified energy efficiency programs, expansion of renewable energy systems and bio-fuel production and utilization.”

Richard Lugar, the Republican senator who has been leading the way for energy security with bipartisanship support in Congress, congratulated the Philippines, which is holding the ASEAN chairmanship, for spearheading the regional energy initiative.

“The domestic efforts of the United States and ASEAN member nations to shift to a sustainable energy future will attain maximum efficacy with strong international partnership,” Lugar said in a letter to Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo.

“The challenge of energy security is not unique to ASEAN. It is now a global imperative,” he said.

Lugar has introduced a “Energy Diplomacy and Security Act” in the US Senate, proposing strategic partnerships with “like-minded” nations and offering “coordination” agreements with China and India with possible expansion to other Asian nations.

He has also co-written a bill to expand efforts to move alternative fuels into additional markets and make them more widely available for consumers.

“I believe it is time for the oil companies to make renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel available to the consumer,” he said.

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