PrintPrint CiteCite
Style: MLAAPAChicago Close


'Energy Independence' Alone Won’t Boost U.S. Power

Author: Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Adjunct Senior Fellow
February 14, 2013


"We are finally poised to control our own energy future," said President Barack Obama in his State of the Union message, noting the drastic increase in American energy production from unconventional oil and gas resources.

Controlling our energy future means more than just producing a greater amount of our own energy. It also means harnessing this energy renaissance to meet our global geopolitical needs. We've begun to reap the many economic benefits this boom brings -- such as easing the trade deficit and lowering carbon emissions. But we have only started to appreciate how this energy renaissance affects our larger strategic environment. And, not surprisingly, many readers of the tea leaves have confused reality with desire, by hoping more energy at home will mean keeping out of the volatile politics and economics of the Middle East.

First, the facts. A tremendous increase in the production of shale gas means the U.S. no longer anticipates decades of growing natural gas imports, but has the capacity to meets its own needs for decades and possibly even to export. Increases in oil production in the U.S. and Canada have been equally surprisingly; many analysts, in the words of a Citigroup Inc. report this week, anticipate "North American energy independence" by 2020.

View full text of article.

More on This Topic


Fracking and the Climate Debate

Author: Michael A. Levi
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas

Shale gas is no panacea but, with the right policies to protect communities where gas is produced and to harness the fuel as part of a...


Don't Screw Up Natural Gas

Author: Michael A. Levi

Michael A. Levi argues that advocates of energy innovation need to put new policies on the table.