Energy independence has been a goal of the United States since the oil crisis of the 1970s. And while 2019 saw record domestic oil production, the United States was still a net importer of oil with net imports totaling $192 billion. In an OurEnergyPolicy webinar on June 24, 2020, Yossie Hollander—Co-Founder and Chairman of The Fuel Freedom Foundation—discussed energy independence and current efforts to achieve it. He explained how in today’s interconnected world, reducing U.S. dependence on global oil prices requires more than just increasing domestic oil production. To make energy (oil) independence a reality, we need a broader approach of reexamining the ways we power transportation and ensuring competitive markets for a variety of transportation fuels.
Mr. Hollander said that we have made strides in fighting our oil dependence by improving vehicle efficiency, increasing domestic oil production, and eliminating petroleum use in electricity production; however, more can be done. As of 2019, 92% of our transportation sector was still oil-dependent. Enabling competitive fuel markets for oil alternatives such as biofuels and compressed natural gas would help fight our oil dependence. It could also lead to cheaper and cleaner options for consumers. Increased adoption of electric vehicles and increased use of alternative fuels could all potentially lower the transportation sector’s use of oil and help to bring us closer to energy independence.
Mr. Hollander said that even if we produced all our oil domestically, we would still be influenced by global oil prices. Removing market barriers to competitive fuels, decreasing our reliance on oil as a fuel source with new and alternative technologies, and supporting domestic production of natural gas all have the potential to help the United States become truly energy independent.
Learn more in our webinar series on transportation: