Washington, D.C.— Today, President Trump declared that the United States has achieved energy independence. Regrettably, his assertion fails to appreciate the country’s overwhelming dependence on oil and the risk it poses to our economy.
“While increased domestic crude production has definitely improved America’s energy security, we must not mistake this for energy independence. Our domestic production has created jobs, stimulated new technologies, reduced the trade deficit, and lowered oil prices. But market conditions change and prices worldwide will rise with greater supply disruptions brought on by increased global instability. Oil’s global pricing means American businesses and consumers will be impacted, regardless of how much oil is produced in the United States,” said Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE).
According to the most recent data from the Energy Information Administration, the United States imported almost 8.6 million barrels per day (Mbd) in October, 1.3 Mbd of which came from OPEC nations. The United States is the world’s largest oil consumer, accounting for one-fifth of daily global supply, 70 percent of which is used to power a transportation system that is 92 percent dependent on petroleum.
This dependence, among other factors, induces the U.S. military to spend at least $81 billion every year, and risks military lives in the process, to protect the global oil supply—particularly through the Strait of Hormuz, a chokepoint through which 21 Mbd of the world’s oil passes every day. There are at least 60,000 troops stationed in the Middle East, and 14,000 have been deployed to the region since May, when attacks on oil tankers and infrastructure began. Reportedly, an additional 3,500 troops are also heading to the region.
“We cannot be lured into a false sense of energy independence by our resurgent oil production. To reach true energy security, we must aggressively pursue fuel diversification so we are not hostage to only oil for transportation, deploy new vehicle technologies, and develop a domestic electric vehicle supply chain—from minerals to markets,” Diamond added.
SAFE advocates for enhanced energy security by reducing U.S. oil dependence through modernized fuel economy standards, increased fuel choice for consumers and businesses, and the deployment of connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicle technologies.
About Securing America’s Future Energy
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.