The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is currently in its 44th day with no end in sight. Increased off-shore drilling was seen-and continues to be by some- as part of America’s solution to its dependence on foreign oil. But the investment in renewable sources of energy is more sustainable- and safer. Calls for American energy independence have long been made, and are continuing to be made throughout this crisis. By reducing our dependence on foreign oil we will see a boost to our national security and economy. The United States will be less subject to petroleum supply disruptions and to a manipulation of the energy market by the foreign suppliers of oil. Furthermore, disasters such as the gulf crisis could be avoided, while maintaining the diversity of ecosystems. According to Bloomberg, the Gulf’s ecosystem may never be the same.
The President, in the newly released 2010 National Security Strategy, calls for the “increase use of renewable and nuclear power”. Not only would environmental disasters be largely avoided-and global warming stemmed, but advancing this new policy will allow American industries to thrive at home and be competitive abroad.
A comprehensive plan involving the innovation of wind, geothermal, clean coal, hydrogen, and nuclear technologies is critical to reducing dependence on foreign oil. The oil spill in the Gulf is reminder of the need to invest in alternative sources of energy not only avoid future environmental disasters but also it highlights the need to decrease American dependence on foreign oil. Although the oil spill acts as a catalyst in this debate, the urgency felt now needs to be maintained in order to ensure that the goals set out in the National Security Strategy are indeed met.
A comprehensive look at the effects of U.S. oil dependence as it relates to the transportation sector can be found in the Sierra Club and the American Security Project jointly released report entitled “Ending Our Dependence on Oil” which discusses the problems caused by oil dependence and presents potential solutions.