Energy Security: Interdependence or Independence

Quick Post: Towards a Broader view of Energy Security?

Sebastian Mallaby of the Washington Post does an excellent job in “What ‘Energy Security’ Really Means” on broadening the general public’s view of energy security. Read on.

What everyone thinks about energy security:

“For many American leaders, energy security means producing energy at home and relying less on foreigners. But the United States imports three-fifths of its oil, and the share is heading up. For the foreseeable future, alternative fuel is unlikely to change that.”

The alternative view:

“Energy interdependence can actually be good for energy security: Just look at natural gas markets. Right now nearly all the natural gas that Americans consume comes from U.S. and Canadian fields; only 3 percent comes into the country by tanker in the form of liquefied natural gas. This renders the United States highly vulnerable to disruptions on its home continent. If terrorists or a hurricane took out a key pipeline, it would be hard to bring in alternative supplies from outside North America, and prices would spike upward. By buying more liquefied natural gas from a diverse range of foreigners, the United States would reduce its energy independence but enhance its energy security.”

Also see Daniel Yergin’s Foreign Affairs article, “Ensuring Energy Security“.