Center for American Progress

RELEASE: 5 Reasons Why the United States Can’t Drill Its Way to Energy Independence
Press Release

RELEASE: 5 Reasons Why the United States Can’t Drill Its Way to Energy Independence

Washington, D.C. — The solution to high energy prices in the wake of Russia’s war with Ukraine is a swift and urgent transition to clean energy, not further reliance on dirty fuels controlled by dictators and profiteering oil corporations, according to a new column from the Center for American Progress.

The column argues that despite the oil and gas industry’s misleading campaign for more leasing, permitting, and fossil fuel infrastructure, energy independence won’t be found at the bottom of a well. The United States is already the world’s largest producer of oil and gas, and fossil fuel companies are actively choosing not to develop the permits and land that they already have access to.

Meanwhile, oil and gas executives are raking in windfall profits while consumers suffer at the pump. The United States can never be energy independent if it relies on a fuel source that is both controlled by the global market and highly susceptible to international conflict and manipulation by autocratic regimes.

“The United States—and the world—cannot drill its way out of oil price volatility or into real energy independence,” said Jenny Rowland-Shea, deputy director for Public Lands at CAP and co-author of the analysis. “Now is the time for us to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Investing now in clean energy will help the country gain true energy security, lower energy prices, and improve our health and well-being.”

The column offers five arguments against new fossil fuel investment:

  • The oil and gas industry already has more than 9,000 unused drilling permits on federal lands.
  • Industry CEOs are profiting hand over fist while average families suffer.
  • The oil industry is sitting on 10 years’ worth of unused leases.
  • New oil projects won’t bring down prices or increase supply in the short term.
  • The free market is pointing away from new drilling investments and toward renewables.

Read the column: “5 Reasons Why the United States Can’t Drill Its Way to Energy Independence” by Jenny Rowland-Shea, Sally Hardin, Miriam Goldstein, and Nicole Gentile

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org.