Secretary of State John Kerry, President Obama, and other members of the Administration frequently seem focused upon Syria, the Ukraine, Egypt, climate change, environmental issues and a host of other concerns. Unfortunately these subjects are not central to American security or global interests. Glaringly absent from the Obama administration’s emphasis has been the subject of U.S. energy security, which should be a central concern for our leaders in Washington. Unfortunately, the subject of energy only seems to be addressed by the current Administration when it is related to the subjects of environmentalism or renewable resources.
The G7 has been in the news lately. Of the world’s seven great economic nations, none is energy self-sufficient. And of the top oil-producing nations, few are stable democracies. The world’s top five oil producers are Russia, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Iran and China. The Obama administration seems oblivious to the fact that energy independence is inseparable from national security.
Oil production was a big issue in World War II. In 1939 the U.S. was the largest petroleum producer in the world, whereas Germany and Japan had very little. Romania’s inclusion in the Axis powers was essential to Hitler’s war effort. Nazi tanks ran on Romanian oil. Field Marshal Rommel battled Generals Patton and Montgomery in North Africa because Germany was desperate for Libya’s oil. A primary reason for Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union was to seize Soviet oilfields, the largest of which was near Baku. The Nazi forces were waylaid by the Battle of Stalingrad, where Hitler’s forces suffered almost 1 million casualties. Only a short distance from Baku’s oilfields, Nazi forces began their slow, oil-starved, retreat back to Berlin. If America had not been energy independent, the outcome of World War II may have been drastically different.
The Obama administration has a constant refrain: Oil, gas, and coal, are the energy sources of the past, but renewable sources are the energy of the future. In spite of large electrical generating wind turbines being built across the nation, and the increased production of solar energy, renewable sources still only provide a small percentage of America’s energy needs. Furthermore, renewable sources of energy are very costly, requiring large government subsidies. Nuclear energy, likewise, is extremely expensive, and, as seen in Japan, presents huge dangers. Like it or not, oil, gas, and coal, will continue to provide the bulk of the world’s energy needs for the foreseeable future. The Obama administration seems willfully ignorant of this fact.
No matter who wins the 2014 and 2016 elections, it is essential that U.S. energy independence become a central emphasis for our political leaders. It is not merely an economic issue, but is a cornerstone to our national security.
How can America achieve energy independence? By pursuing three goals:
Drill, baby drill. Thirteen nations have larger proven oil reserves than the U.S. Our native oil and gas reserves will not fully meet all the nation’s needs. The wonders of modern drilling technology and enhanced extraction, however, have enabled the U.S. to become the world’s largest natural gas producer; and U.S. oil production is at a 20-year high. Continued development of U.S. resources must be encouraged and facilitated by our government leaders.
Expand transmission of Canadian oil to American markets. Our large northern brother has the world’s third largest oil reserves. It is a stable and close ally. Every barrel obtained from Canada is one we do not have to buy from hostile, terrorist or unstable regimes overseas. We need to build the Keystone XL pipeline, and increase other transmission lines from our northern neighbor.
Focus on Venezuela, which has the world’s largest proven oil reserves, and is located only 800 miles from Florida. Since the 1990s Venezuela has been a socialist foe of the U.S., first led by Hugo Chavez, and now Nicolas Maduro. Rather than our Washington leaders focusing on nations far remove from America’s vital national interests, such as Syria and Ukraine, our diplomats and politicians should make Venezuela a top foreign policy priority, helping them to create a stable and pro-U.S. regime that can be relied upon for our energy needs.
If we succeed in these three things, the United States will achieve energy security for the foreseeable future.syria - Middle East - Latin America and Caribbean - Eastern Europe - Europe - Barack Obama - Africa - John Kerry - South America - Ukraine - North Africa - Hugo Chavez - Venezuela - Nicolas Maduro - Azerbaijan - Baku