Learn About Energy Security
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the United States imported nearly 170 million barrels of crude oil from OPEC nations in April 2008. With imported crude costs at record highs, American oil dependence facilitated an $18 billion transfer of wealth from American consumers to a cartel that includes some of the most dangerous regimes in the world. With prices expected to remain high throughout 2008, the United States will send nearly $230 billion into OPEC nations’ national coffers this year. These petrodollars will be allocated with minimal transparency by a handful of governments that are hostile to both the United States and Israel, emboldening our enemies and preventing the United States from acting independently.
At the same time, our reliance on oil contributes to climate change, as the burning of fossil fuels is a major source of domestic greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change promises to aggravate existing international tensions. In its report, "National Security and the Threat of Climate Change," a prestigious board of retired military officers explained that "Climate change acts as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions in the world. Projected climate change will seriously exacerbate already marginal living standards in many Asian, African, and Middle Eastern nations, causing widespread political instability and the likelihood of failed states." Climate change threatens to spark unprecedented human migrations, increased border tensions, conflicts over essential resources, and greater international demand for rescue and evacuation efforts.
By seeking alternatives to fossil fuels, the United States can simultaneously assert our independence from hostile regimes while addressing climate change.