Securing America’s Energy Independence Through Energy Diversification

The Lessons of the Past and the Direction for the Future

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    This time a year ago, the United States and the world were reminded of the devastating costs of a global energy crisis. Consumers, businesses, and industry leaders alike watched helplessly as crude oil prices skyrocketed to $147 per barrel, and the domestic consequences were reminiscent of the energy crisis of the late 1970s. Consumers suffered, costs of living soared, the auto industry contracted, proponents of domestic drilling gained momentum, and global oil companies raked in record profits.

    But unlike in the aftermath of the first two energy crises, innovation and efficiency—not just conservation—have now taken the spotlight as the solution. In the past, as oil prices fluctuated, so did our commitment to energy independence. Not so today. With advancements in technology, conflicts in the Middle East, and the clear threat of climate change, America’s energy interests are no longer based on swings in oil prices. Efforts to reduce oil consumption and to develop alternative energy continue to grow, and they must do so.

    Without energy diversification, the United States will grow even more dependent on volatile regimes to feed America’s insatiable appetite for oil, and it will finance this dependence by leveraging our nation’s precious treasury. Twenty years of inaction have jeopardized our nation’s security, and we simply cannot repeat our mistakes. We must develop sustainable sources of energy and tighten fuel-efficiency controls.

    In the following pages, we make a case for the unavoidable need for energy diversification and efficiency, efforts critical to our national security, economic stability, and environmental preservation. We then provide the direction our nation must take to ensure that alternative energy capabilities and energy-efficiency efforts bear fruit quickly and firmly.

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