Mythical Energy Independence
Mythical Energy Independence
The Limits of the Shale Boom

A group of former generals and senior defense officials is warning against the seductive myth of American energy independence. Fracking and horizontal well drilling are giving the United States a lot more oil and gas, but they aren’t making us independent from foreign suppliers. In fact, because oil is a globally traded commodity, even if we produced as much oil as we consumed (an unlikely proposition), supply disruptions abroad would still affect the price of oil here. Barring an isolationist energy policy—a logistically fraught idea that would really upset our allies—America won’t be energy independent as long as it consumes oil. The Commission on Energy and Geopolitics expanded on these concerns in its inaugural report on U.S. energy security.

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