Full Title: Energy Security is National Security
Author(s): Thomas Wackman
Publisher(s): Institute for Energy Research
Publication Date: April 15, 2023
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Energy security is national security. One cannot exist without the other, and a lack of either can have serious ramifications. For evidence of this, look no further than Europe, where Germany is reeling from the twin blows of ill-conceived domestic energy policies and wholesale energy dependence on its chief geopolitical adversary: Russia. The German case is but one example of the many pitfalls a nation faces when it fails to secure its energy supply. American policymakers would do well to take this cautionary tale to heart – and soon – as the Biden administration’s plans to force a complete energy transition away from fossil fuels may lead America down the long and painful road of energy dependency.
Due in large part to government intervention, the United States is becoming progressively more reliant on electric vehicles (EVs) and nonnuclear renewable energy sources for its transportation and energy needs. These technologies rely on a large input of rare earth metals and other mined elements, particularly lithium and cobalt, the supply of which is dominated almost entirely by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). These same minerals are also key inputs in the production of many advanced weapons systems, like fighter jets and ballistic missile defenses, that are critical for a robust national defense.
This, along with the current administration’s ongoing war against domestic hydrocarbon production, puts America’s energy security, and its national security, in real jeopardy. It is therefore incumbent to unpack just what energy security means, its relationship to national security, what that means for the United States, and the consequences that can occur when leaders attempt to ignore the fundamental physical realities that create the context in which statecraft resides.