Defeating our enemies through energy independence

Ross Gerber:
Longer term, however, the trend towards more global turbulence has made one thing crystal clear: The United States must achieve total energy independence. The fact that this is not a novel idea – yes, it’s been discussed during political campaigns and has served as the subject of countless articles and opinion pieces throughout the years – doesn’t make the pursuit of national energy independence any less of a strategic imperative.

The United States has always purchased its oil from countries with which we have, at best, a complicated relationship. Consider regimes such as Saudi Arabia. While the United States technically has a diplomatic relationship with the Saudis, they continue to tacitly (and sometimes, not so tacitly) support groups and policies that are hostile to Western culture in general and US interests in particular.

Such relationships could change. The United States will soon be the world’s largest oil producer, thanks to innovative new extraction technologies that have revitalized previously dormant wells and also led to a shale gas and oil boom that has galvanized into action a series of once sleepy communities across the upper Great Plains, Texas and beyond. Given such resources, we no longer have to fund our enemies.

The largest obstacle remains the existing infrastructure. It simply cannot support the current level output in terms of transporting, distributing and storing more oil and natural gas, and as such, it must be upgraded. What’s more, there has to be a more concentrated effort in tandem with any energy infrastructure overhaul to develop complementary renewable energy sources that have made great leaps forward in the technology needed to deliver on their promise, such as solar power.

As important as it is to produce our own energy, it is just as important to lessen the demand for fossil fuels and protect the environment. This can be done through energy conservation initiatives such as building a viable solar energy and electric car infrastructure. By lessening the demand for oil and at the same time increasing the supply of domestic oil, the United States can simultaneously weaken the regimes that rely on oil to fund their anti-American activities as well as lessen greenhouse gas emissions which are clearly beginning to effect climate change.
There is more.

At this time there is no viable solar or electric car infrastructure and there is not likely to be one over teh next decade.  It is going to require innovation beyond current technology for that to happen.  So we should proceed with developing our resources in energy infrastructure to make indepence come quicker.  The Keystone XL pipeline could completely replace the heavy crude we now import from Venezuela which has acted like an enemy for several years.


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