"I believe that this administration sees these resources as critical and strategic to the nation and part of their 'all of the above' energy strategy," Odum said.Odum also noted in his address that even as the U.S. is dealing with a glut of natural gas that is creating the opportunities for the four pillars, there are still major supply/demand balance issues for the world going forward. "It's true that the world's total supply of energy has never failed to meet demand...not yet, anyway," Odum said. "And it's true that technology breakthroughs have resulted in such a short-term glut of natural gas in this country that fears about supply seem irrelevant." But long-term global demand continues to rise, Odum noted. "Even if energy efficiencies reduce growth by 20 percent, and even if ordinary rates of supply growth boost supply by 50 percent, we could still face a gap between supply and demand equivalent to the size of the entire industry in the year 2000." Earlier during the Forum - which featured opening remarks from World Energy Council Chairman Pierre Gadonneix – participants discussed numerous topics, including recent fuel prices, climate change, natural disasters and elections, during two roundtable discussions, "The Technology Battle" and "Global Face-Off: Governments Lock Horns with Industry." Robert Bryce, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and Forum panelist, said renewable energy "may be a darling of politicos and the Green/Left, but it simply cannot provide the enormous scale of energy that the world demands at prices consumers can afford." "Furthermore, the growth in the coal market is swamping any gains that might be had from renewables," Bryce said. "In 2011 alone, global coal consumption increased by about by 3.9 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. That's about the same amount of energy as is provided by all global non-hydro renewable sources, such as wind, solar, and biomass."