The Energy Independence Myth

Discussion
Jun 11, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Exxon Mobil’s chairman, Lee Raymond, wants Americans to know there is no such thing as the United States being energy independent and he wants us to get over it already.

In a speech made earlier in the week at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Mr. Raymond said our need for Middle East oil is a fact of life. “We simply cannot avoid significant reliance on oil and gas from the Middle East because the world’s supply pool (of oil) is highly dependent upon the Middle East.”

“It is simply inevitable,” he added.

Mr. Raymond urged the United States to “maintain appropriate and constructive relationships with oil-rich countries in the future. They will be very important for our prosperity and our security.”

We also shouldn’t expect to be liberated from our energy dependence from new clean fuel sources, cautioned Mr. Raymond. “We simply do not yet have the economic solutions or technologies that would permit us to meet future energy demands without carbon emissions growth,” he said.

Moderator’s Comment: What should be the response of the American government and business to Lee Raymond’s declaration
of dependence on foreign oil?

If record gas prices at a time when supplies are not low is not enough to convince Pennsylvania Avenue, Wall Street and Main Street, then perhaps Lee Raymond’s
straight talk will finally drive the message home that our biggest security issue is not al-Quaeda, North Korea, Iran, etc. It is our dependence on others for the energy that
makes America run. Businesses and the associations that represent them need to take the lead if Washington will not.

George Anderson – Moderator

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