Taken together, the increasing production and declining consumption have unexpectedly brought the United States markedly closer to a goal that has tantalized presidents since Richard Nixon: independence from foreign energy sources…
How is it “energy independence’ to still depend on finite, toxic supplies of oil? This headline should read, Inching Toward Temporary Energy Independence. Real independence from foreign energy sources would be to make oil irrelevant, but judging by another article from this morning’s Times (As Young Lose Interest in Cars, G.M. Turns to MTV for Help), that is not part of anyone’s game plan. Today’s car companies are starting to fret like yesterday’s cigarette companies.
The vexing thing is, this so-called independence is the result, not of some sea change in energy use, but merely the intersection of 1) “industry-friendly policies” and 2) “technological advances” that make it easier to get at oil “once considered too difficult and too expensive to reach.” Really, this is an article about how domestic oil companies are finding it easier to make money. Whatever is gained by this ephemeral freedom, which an oil executive refers to in The Times article, amusingly, as a “home run,” will quickly evaporate if the price of oil drops too far. In other words, energy independence for America yokes consumers to artificially high gas prices, ignores pollution concerns and does not envision a future when oil supplies literally dry up.
This is a little like an alcoholic who announces that he has his problem under control: From now on, he will only drink at home.
- Energy Independence? Really? (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Study: alternative energy has barely displaced fossil fuels (arstechnica.com)