"Energy Security as the Defining Test for the Next President"
Richard Lugar (U.S. Senate, R-Ind.)
At the age of 75 and elected to a sixth term in the U.S. Senate in 2006 with 87% of the vote, Indiana Senator Richard Lugar has become an icon. He is respected by Republicans and Democrats alike. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama recently stated that if elected he might appoint Lugar to his Cabinet. Lugar, indeed, would be qualified for Secretary of State, Secretary of Agriculture, or Secretary of Energy.
In almost every presidential debate this political season, the subject of energy and energy security is discussed. Lugar, in this important and comprehensive presentation at the Brookings Institution, opines that "energy security and the economic issues closely associated with it should be the most important topic of the 2008 presidential election." He quotes Edmund Andrews in the New York Times, "On oil, the parties fall into two camps: use less or find more." Lugar embraces both approaches and criticizes some Democrats for taking nuclear power, coal, and oil exploration off the table.
Lugar believes a new U.S. President must elevate energy security to the status of a core national goal and must directly engage all the American people in that solution. The next President must be relentless in pursuing this goal and must be willing to...