WASHINGTON, D.C. – The national security risks that stem from the United States’ heavy reliance on foreign oil are well documented. One in five barrels of U.S. oil come from countries that the State Department considers to be “dangerous or unstable.” And the cost of this oil will rise as global demand increases. These high prices benefit all petro-states regardless of whether the United States is buying from them or not. The United States doesn’t buy Iranian oil, for example, but a $1 increase in oil prices provides an additional $1.5 billion to the Iranian government annually.
Global oil demand—led by the United States and followed by China, Japan, and India—will dramatically increase over the next two decades. China has made oil deals around the world over the past few years that can deliver a supply of more than 7.8 billion barrels of oil to the country over the next several years.
The United States consumes more than 7 billion barrels of oil annually, but expanding domestic oil production will not solve our supply problem, make us more secure, or ease our wallets. President Barack Obama made it clear that drilling is not the solution to America’s energy challenges, explaining, “We have less than 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves; we consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil…Drilling alone can’t come close to meeting our long-term energy needs.”
The United States must meanwhile prepare for a coming oil price crunch caused by increasing global demand and slowing global production. The safest, cheapest, and fastest path to energy security is to implement oil savings measures—outlined in this column—to reduce dependence on foreign oil and protect our pocketbooks. We must make vehicles more efficient and use alternative fuels, and invest in transit.
Read full column, here.