Energy Independence Really?

Energy Independence Really?

Energy security is largely overstated and not understood.  To secure energy is to have a reliable source of energy. The lack of reliable energy source typically comes from weather disruptions and political events.   Therefore, the most reliable energy source usually limits the amount of transportation to obtain the energy source.  More domestic use of fuel clearly achieves this objective.

I have always said the US could be energy independent, but we choose not to.  The reason to not be energy independent can be explained for two reasons.  The obvious reason is economic.  If it is cheaper for someone else to supply a good than you could produce, you typically will import.  The other reasons, a more philosophical reason, why plunder your resources now when you can let other plunder theirs.   In the US, we choose not to plunder our resources; some of it is due to environmental concerns.   We choose to have our natural beauty not obstructed by industrial devices and potential environmental spills.   This increases the cost to the point we end up importing, versus using our domestic consumption.  In the long run, perhaps by being less energy independent now, we will have more energy security later.   By allowing others to plunder now, we may eventually use our resources later when we may truly need it.

Those who continually tout energy independence forget these simple points.  They are aiming to say a political sound bite to get you to bite.   We should not be striving for energy independent, but a smart balance energy plan which balances security, environment, and economics.  I certainly enjoy the beaches and mountains without seeing industrial equipment, but I know for that, we must pay a premium and/or import more energy.  Energy independence is not a goal one would want to achieve unless we are at war or will be going to war.


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Your Energy Consultant,

David K. Bellman



  1. Energy Independence Misguided Focus | All Energy Consulting - [...] A recent article posted in the NY Times by Michael Levi highlights my past concerns about Energy Independence talk. …

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