For the United States, oil dependence represents a serious national security threat. While the United States is drilling more oil than ever, consumers are not seeing lower prices at the pump. Still, the notion of “energy independence” has persisted in American political discourse, leading some to believe that the U.S. can solve its energy problems by producing more oil.
The price of oil is set on the global market; drilling more will not make the U.S. “energy independent.” Even if America were to become “self-sufficient” in oil production, the American economy would still be vulnerable to price volatility due to external events. While America has an abundance of other fossil fuels to produce things like electricity, those resources present a number of problems of their own.
ASP’s fact sheet “What is Energy Independence?” explores the reasons why energy independence is the wrong goal to be working towards. Instead, a comprehensive goal of “energy security” – access to energy that is secure, economically stable, and sustainable.