AHC Group

Striking the bargain necessary for energy security

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On finding a middle way to bridge the impasse between environmentalists and domestic oil and gas developers.

There is agreement on one issue: energy security requires us to reduce our reliance on imported oil. But the reduction strategies proposed by the Bush Administration and the oil industry on the one hand, and by the environmental community on the other, differ starkly.... Both positions are founded on some unfortunate myths. Holding on to these myths risks prolonging the present political standoff in which we get neither new exploration nor a sensible program of renewable energy and conservation.


The Administration and the oil industry maintain that the most straightforward strategy is to increase domestic oil production. They realize it may not solve the whole problem, but believe it needs to be the backbone of any solution.

It sounds good, but it can't work. New domestic sources, by themselves, won't come close to solving the problem. U.S. oil consumption at present is about 7 billion barrels per year. Of that, some 3 billion barrels come from domestic sources. Ten years ago we imported about 42% of our oil; today, that has risen to 56%. We are becoming more dependent, not less.

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