ARLINGTON, Va., March 8 (UPI) -- Recent trends point to the higher of the Energy Information Administration's price scenarios in the Annual Outlook.
Reductions in supply and price increases have not stopped oil consumption from increasing, said Carl Bauer, director of the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory at the U.S. Energy Security Forum Thursday in Arlington, Va.
There have been few new large coal or nuclear plants built in the last two decades and little to no new large oil fields discovered, Bauer said. The U.S. infrastructure no longer lends itself to domestic production of fossil fuels, he said.
"Price hurdles and learning curves" may challenge new technology, Bauer said. "But if we don't start now, we're toast. Waiting will lead to higher prices, shortages and economy disruptions."
To meet project demands, he said, alternative fuel production needs to increase exponentially and non-OPEC as well as production in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would have to increase.
But right now it takes up to six to eight years to build a new 500 megawatt coal plant, 10 years to build a nuclear plant and eight to 10 years for a coal to liquids plant.
Gas to liquids, he suggested could significantly help the United States become, "not just a price-taker, but a negotiator again."
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