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Secretary Bodman Meets with Regional Energy Ministers in Hungary

March 17, 2006 - 3:44pm

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Emphasizes U.S. Support for Central European Energy Security

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today participated in a regional energy meeting with ministers from Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Croatia and Romania.  During the meeting, Secretary Bodman and the ministers discussed the importance of advancing sufficient, affordable, clean and reliable energy supplies to sustain global economic growth, accommodate heightened demand, and promote regional energy security.  Traveling to Budapest from Moscow where he participated in the G8 Energy Ministerial, Secretary Bodman reaffirmed the G8 priorities of protecting and strengthening energy infrastructure, developing strategies to mitigate energy supply disruptions, and promoting stable and transparent market-based investment.

"The U.S. and Central Europe share many of the same energy goals including greater energy efficiency, use of clean and reliable energy supplies, and expanded energy infrastructure," Secretary Bodman said.  "This meeting provided a unique opportunity to discuss strategies to enhance Central Europe's regional energy security."

Secretary Bodman encouraged the energy ministers to increase regional energy security by diversifying the source and type of energy on which they rely, enhancing energy efficiency, reforming electricity and gas markets, regional integration, and clean energy technologies including clean coal and renewables.  They also discussed regional and global cooperation on expanding and strengthening energy infrastructure.

During his discussions, Secretary Bodman highlighted the importance of developing liquefied natural gas import capabilities and expressed support for their efforts to bring Eurasian gas to Central and Eastern Europe.  Secretary Bodman also encouraged the nations to continue dialogues with neighboring countries and the European Union on a wide range of energy issues.

Attending today's meeting in Budapest, hosted by Hungary's Minister of Economy and Transport Janos Koka, were Czech Republic's Vice Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Jiri Bis, Poland's Minister of Economy Piotr Grzegorz Wozniak, Slovakia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Jirko Malcharek, Austria's Director and Head of the Energy Policy Division for the Federal Ministry of Economy Otto Zach, Croatia's Minister of Economy Branko Vukelic, and Romania's Miratenister of Economy Ioan Codrut Seres.

Secretary Bodman's visit to Hungary wraps up a five-day, four-country trip, where he traveled to Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Russia to promote global energy security and greater international cooperation on energy issues.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940

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