November 19, 2020



Washington, D.C.: In a roundtable hosted by OurEnergyPolicy (OEP), a diverse group of energy leaders recommended changes to the U.S. transportation sector that would increase American energy independence.

The leaders, including Dale Bryk (Consultant at Energy Innovation), David Hunter (The Electric Power Research Institute), Peter Marcotullio (CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities), noted that while U.S. domestic oil production is at an all-time high and imports are the lowest in decades, the United States is still a net importer of oil and is dependent upon global oil prices. Acting to diversify the energy sources in our transportation sector could both lower greenhouse gas emissions and support national security by insulating the economy against price shocks that come from global oil markets.

OEP’s recently released roundtable white paper highlights several approaches identified by the group:

  • Energy independence: View the goal of energy independence as increasing our energy security (diversifying our transportation sector energy sources so we are not dependent on just one source) rather than becoming 100% import-independent. Focus on what American consumers care about—affordable, secure, and reliable energy access—and focus on how energy independence can combine with other energy goals such as addressing climate change.
  • Alternative transportation options: Electric vehicles, natural gas-based fuels, hydrogen, and biofuels are all alternative options for powering the transportation sector. Views differ on how quickly the electric vehicles industry will grow and how big a role it will play in the transportation sector. Introducing more natural gas into the transportation sector may not be aligned with climate goals, but it does have potential for wider use, both as compressed natural gas and as a feedstock for ethanol.
  • Encouraging competitive markets: Policy options and potential approaches include enacting a carbon tax, providing government funding for research and development of new technologies, and incentivizing flex-fuel vehicles. Technology agnostic policies are favored by many as a way to drive innovation and competition with the best outcomes.
  • Role of government and private sector: Both government regulations and private sector actions have a role in advancing the transportation sector. Market-based solutions are important since private investors have control over the capital needed to deploy technologies at scale. The role of government, in this context, is to set the “rules of the game” on which the private sector is operating.

Find more details on these points in the roundtable white paper, American Energy Independence and the Transportation Sector, available in the OurEnergyLibrary—OEP’s online resource library that aggregates energy policy reports and materials from across the energy sector. OEP intends this white paper to serve as a resource for policymakers and stakeholders working on transportation and energy independence.




About OurEnergyPolicy: OurEnergyPolicy is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing and facilitating substantive, responsible dialogue on energy policy issues and providing this discourse as a resource for the public, policymakers, and the media. OurEnergyPolicy also serves as a one-stop resource hub for all things energy policy and includes a free resource library, aggregated energy headlines, and national energy events calendar. OurEnergyPolicy does not advocate or endorse any specific points of views, but rather, works to encourage a broad discussion.




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