Recent increases in U.S. natural gas and oil production – increases dramatic enough to drive speculation about and calls for U.S. exports of these resources – have brought the prospect of an energy self-sufficient U.S. into sight, while geopolitical and market volatility around the globe continue to make energy independence an attractive policy goal. However, the question remains: Would U.S. energy independence necessarily mean U.S. energy security?
According to a report from Securing America’s Future Energy, The New American Oil Boom: Implications for Energy Security, “energy security,” defined as our economy’s ability to withstand shocks to energy supply, is too often conflated with “energy independence,” which is the ability to procure energy from within national borders or from an ally. “Energy security is almost entirely a function of the importance of oil consumption in the domestic economy and is not related to the original source of that oil,” the report states. “In other words, a nation cannot achieve energy security so long as it is economically beholden to oil, which is priced in a global market.”
For more on this subject, and related subjects, please see video from our recent expert panel, Gas Prices & National Security.
Is energy independence the same thing as energy security? Does one necessitate, or facilitate, the other? Do you agree with SAFE’s conclusion?