The Natural Security column: Hey, is energy independence really a good thing?

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Photo: Flickr / Thomas Hawk
Media Outlet: Foreign Policy

On November, 25 1973, President Richard Nixon addressed the nation in prime time. “Throughout its history, America has made great sacrifices of blood and also of treasure to achieve and maintain its independence,” he said. “In the last third of this century, our independence will depend on maintaining and achieving self-sufficiency in energy. Today, the United States imports fewer barrels of oil than it did when Nixon gave that speech, and is fast approaching self-sufficiency (within North America, at least). But a new article in Proceedings magazine makes the case that it’s not necessarily a good thing. According to Commander Scott Bennie, it turns out there are geopolitical downsides to energy independence.

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Sharon E. Burke is a senior advisor at New America, where she focuses on international security and a new program, Resource Security, which examines the intersection of security, prosperity, and natural resources.