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Energy independence is a security issue

All of the population of the United States should be wanting and striving for the United States to be energy independent. It should be a top five priority for the government. Why is this people might ask? The reason is that energy independence is a national security issue. Our very livelihood as a country is dependent upon electricity and cars. No one will dispute this. Most of our electricity comes from oil and most of our vehicles run off gasoline, which is produced from oil.

Thirty years ago the United States imported just 28 percent of its domestic oil. In 2008 the United States imported 58 percent of its domestic oil consumption. In 2008 that amounted to the United States on average importing around 11 million barrels of oil each day. Most of this oil comes from Canada and other sources outside of the Middle East. But the United States use of oil keeps the prices high and the Middle East as a region is the largest exporter of oil in the world. In a indirect way the United States helps to send funds to Middle Eastern countries.

In a good and just world sending lots of money to the Middle East to buy a product from them would not be a big deal. But we are not living in a good and just world. We live in reality. In our reality Saudi Arabia and most other Middle Eastern countries use their oil wealth to placate the population and not develop socially and politically and do not develop economically. This is referred to as the Dutch Syndrome, which explains how over abundance and reliance on one chief export is dangerous and impedes the development of a stable society.

Even worse for the United States is the fact that much of this oil money is used, especially by Saudi Arabia, to fund fundamentalist maddrassas. Inside of these maddrassas fundamentalist strains of Islam are taught such as: Salafism and Wahhabism.(Wahhabism is the chief school of Islam in Saudi Arabia) These fundamentalist maddrassas are breeding and recruiting grounds for terrorist networks around the world. If the United States could become energy independent then the money that these countries recieve for their oil would be drastically cut and it would also force these countries to start looking at other means to maintain themselves. This would help not just the United States but also the people in these countries because eventually they would obtain a more effecient state, greater economic freedom, and greater political freedom.

Earlier I talked about the United States importing around 11 million barrels of oil each day. If we really are serious about reducing our national debt and our trade imbalance this is one of the best ways to fix the problem. If we could just cut our oil imports by half our trade deficeit would go down by half. If we could become energy independent we would almost have a balanced trade sheet. With energy independance comes a much much better trade balance and a much lower national debt.

I should caution this though. The road to energy independence does not need to be done in haste or at a loss to our economy. The research should be funded by the government and by private sources but it should be funded and FUNDED THOUROUGHLY!!!. These two reasons are great reasons to achieve energy independence and they do not even touch on environmental issues. I will leave that issue for others to argue about.

Bart Wallace
Troy