News Release

Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) Delivers Leadership Forum Address on Energy Security

March 13, 2006

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, launched the Brookings Institution’s 90th Anniversary Leadership Forum today with a major address on energy security.

Founded in 1916, Brookings is a private nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions.

“Our mission has always been to bring rigorous thinking to bear on the big issues facing our country and the world,” said Brookings president Strobe Talbott, who introduced Sen. Lugar (R-IN). “Our challenge as we enter our tenth decade is to make sure we’re asking the right questions and looking for answers in an atmosphere that encourages a diversity of views and fosters civility of discourse. In his 30 years in the Senate, Senator Lugar has epitomized those values.”

Throughout 2006, Brookings will host a number of discussions, dialogues and forums aimed at analyzing current and emerging policy issues. Senator Lugar’s address focused on one such challenge: energy security.

“Geology and politics have created petro-superpowers that nearly monopolize the world’s oil supply,” Lugar said, noting that foreign governments control up to 77 percent of the world’s oil reserves through their national oil companies. Over time, he predicted, “oil will become an even stronger magnet for conflict and threats of military action than it already is.”

To deal with the new geopolitics of energy security, he called for expanded international coordination on energy issues; formal U.S. coordination with China and India as they develop strategic petroleum reserves; and regional partnerships in the Western Hemisphere.

Throughout its history, Brookings has offered a platform to world leaders, including Nelson Mandela; Kofi Annan; Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, and Bill Clinton; Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Recent speakers have included Sen. Chuck Hagel, Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and Iraq’s first president, Jalal Talabani.

Brookings is widely praised for its intellectual rigor and pragmatic approach to a wide range of issues. Ninety years ago, the institution’s founder, philanthropist Robert Somers Brookings, began to finance the formation of three organizations that were later merged as the Brookings Institution. His original focus was bringing the U.S. government’s administrative functions into line with modern business methods.

Over time the organization has grown to include economic policy, foreign policy and metropolitan policy as well as governance studies. In the 1930s and 1940s, Brookings scholars critiqued many aspects of the New Deal, worked on elements of the Marshall Plan, and helped design the structure of the United Nations. In the 1970s, Brookings scholars laid the economic groundwork for deregulation and pushed for the creation of the Congressional Budget Office. Brookings also provided CBO with its first director, Alice Rivlin, who remains a senior fellow at Brookings today.

Brookings continues to provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis on the full range of public policy issues. More than 100 current scholars have served in academia and in every presidential administration since Truman—and hold diverse points of view. Visiting scholars have come to Brookings from across the globe, including China, India, Japan, Russia, Korea, and Australia.

In recent years, Brookings has formed partnerships with other think tanks, such as joint programs for the study of federal regulation and for the study of election reform with the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research; a retirement security project with Georgetown University; a tax policy center with the Urban Institute; and an economic modeling project with the Observer Research Foundation of India.

Brookings is financed by an endowment and through the support of philanthropic foundations, corporations, and private individuals. A Board of Trustees is responsible for the general supervision of Brookings, approval of its areas of investigation, and for safeguarding the independence of its work. The Institution’s president is responsible for formulating and setting policies, recommending projects, approving publications, and selecting staff.

The Brookings Institution is a private nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions. Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2006, Brookings analyzes current and emerging issues and produces new ideas that matter—for the nation and the world.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.