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Video Brief: Energy

Speaker: Michael A. Levi, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change, Council on Foreign Relations
February 8, 2012

The winner of the U.S. presidential election will face at least three sets of energy challenges, says CFR's Michael Levi. The winner will have to continue to focus on reducing U.S. dependence on oil, he says, in order to make the economy less vulnerable to disruptions in oil markets.

At the same time, the president will also face "a different challenge" from previous presidents who had to worry about how to increase U.S. energy supplies. The recent increase in natural gas and oil production, Levi says, will require the next president to facilitate development in a way that maximizes economic payoffs but is also sustainable and addresses environmental concerns.

The president must also be prepared to face unexpected energy crises, Levi cautions. "The next president may face a disruption in another critical producing region, they may face a disruption associated with confrontation between the United States and Iran, they may face disruptions that are less acute, stemming from a rising demand for supply," he says. The critical challenge is that the president will have "a limited set of tools" with which to address these types of events, Levi says.

This video is part of Campaign 2012, a series of video briefings on the top foreign policy issues debated in the run-up to the 2012 elections.

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