National Security

Why is energy a national security issue?
“Our entire economy depends on the expectation that energy will be plentiful, available, and affordable. Nations like Venezuela and Iran can use oil and gas as political and economic weapons by manipulating the marketplace. Half of our trade deficit goes toward buying oil from abroad, and some of that money ends up in the hands of terrorists.”
General James Jones is a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general. From July 1999 to January 2003, General Jones was the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps. After relinquishing command as Commandant, he assumed the positions of Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) and Commander of the United States European Command (USEUCOM). General Jones was appointed National Security Advisor to the President on January 20, 2009, a position which he held until October 2010.

Energy is the lifeblood of the American economy. Cut off the flow of energy and the economy will die. For this reason, energy independence is a matter of national security.

The United States consumes 20 million barrels of oil every day

The U.S. economy has become dangerously dependent on foreign oil.

The United States consumes 20 million barrels of oil products every day.
— 14 million barrels per day consumed for transportation fuel.
  — 9 million barrels of transportation fuel is gasoline.

The United States imports 6 million barrels of crude oil per day from OPEC nations.

Replacing petroleum fuels (gasoline and diesel) with non-petroleum alternative fuels would completely eliminate dependence on OPEC oil—and set an example for the world to follow.

American Energy Independence will be achieved when all cars, trucks, and buses on U.S. highways — boats, ships, and barges on U.S. waterways — aircraft flying U.S. airways — trains on U.S. railways — and off-road recreational, construction, and farm vehicles, are powered by transportation fuels made in the USA from U.S. resources.

The 1973 Arab oil embargo interrupted the flow of oil causing severe gasoline shortages and long lines at gas stations. The embargo exposed America’s growing oil dependence and gave the American people their first warning of the price they would pay for continued dependence on foreign oil. The 1979 Iranian revolution interrupted the flow of oil again — this was the second warning, signaling the urgent need for American energy independence. The 1991 Persian Gulf War was a military intervention to stop one dictator from taking control of Middle East oil — this was the third and most severe warning.

9/11 attack

September 11, 2001, was not another warning; it was a preview of America’s future — one possible future.

Following the September 11th terrorist attack, the United States found itself standing at a crossroad of history, facing a choice between two very different futures. One choice would lead the country to increased dependence on foreign oil and a future dominated by terrorism and war. The other choice would lead to American energy independence and a world economy that is no longer desperate for oil.

Oil Prices 1994-2007

On March 20, 2003 the United States chose a direction that led to war, the death of over 4,000 U.S. soldiers, increased dependence on imported oil, and a huge national debt.

March 20, 2003, the price of oil was $26 per barrel. Five years later, on March 20, 2008, the price of oil had risen to $100 per barrel. Then, during July of 2008, the price of oil hit $147 per barrel, with a weekly average of $130.

From September 2007 through October 2008, the world economy was rocked by the unprecedented transfer of more than one trillion dollars from European, Asian and American economies into Middle East national treasuries in exchange for oil.

And then… the global Financial Market collapsed. The high price of oil was the straw that broke the back of the international financial system, exposing a global portfolio of uncollateralized receivables that had been growing for many years, hidden within layers of esoteric financial products called derivatives.

Between 2003 and the summer of 2008, the price of oil increased more than 500 percent (from $26 to $147) because of market fears. War in the Middle East and the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran intensified worldwide fear of an oil supply interruption — fear of a global oil shortage produced the market speculation responsible for pushing oil prices to $147 per barrel during the summer of 2008.

Fear of a global oil shortage added a “fear premium” to the cost of oil, inflating the cost of oil on the world market by over three trillion dollars per year above the 2003 price. The increased cost of oil caused an additional three trillion dollars to be taken out of consumers’ pockets worldwide—to pay for oil products: transportation fuels. Three trillion dollars were no longer available for buying other products and services. Global business stalled, jobs were cut, and consumers stopped spending.

The dramatic rise and fall of worldwide oil prices exposed the insidious influence of unregulated commodity speculation. Clandestine trading on the world commodity market caused the price of oil to spike to a level that would result from a terrorist attack on a major oil production facility or supply line.

The world’s dependence on petroleum has increased significantly since the 1973 Arab oil embargo, and military tension in the Middle East has escalated into war. This is not saying that the war in Iraq was only about oil, but it would be naive to think that the United States military would be in the Middle East if there were no oil.

Without oil, at the center of the conflict, there would be no U.S. military operations in the Middle East—and there would be no oil wealth to finance terrorist ambitions.

Is there anyone who still cannot see the connection between the flow of oil money into the Middle East and the flow of terrorism out of the Middle East?

“Starting in the late 1980s—after the dual shocks of the Iranian revolution and the Soviet war in Afghanistan—Saudi Arabia’s quasi-official charities became the primary source of funds for the fast-growing jihad movement. In some 20 countries, the money was used to run paramilitary training camps, purchase weapons, and recruit new members.
The charities were part of an extraordinary $70 billion Saudi campaign to spread their fundamentalist Wahhabi sect worldwide. The money helped lay the foundation for hundreds of radical mosques, schools, and Islamic centers that have acted as support networks for the jihad movement..”

—The Saudi Connection By David E. Kaplan, U.S.News & World Report

“Exactly how much the Saudis have spent to spread Wahhabism is unclear.” David D. Aufhauser, a former Treasury Department general counsel, told a Senate committee that estimates went north of $75 billion. “The total spent annually is between $2 billion and $2.5 billion,” he said.

Wahhabism is a fundamentalist Islamic movement that has its roots in the extreme Islamic Takfiri ideology, which is a religious belief that encourages its followers to use violence as a means to achieve their goals.

The global economy trades its wealth for Middle East oil enriching the sponsors of terrorism.

Ronald Reagan has been credited for defeating Communism without firing a shot; by economically isolating and suffocating the Soviet Union, while at the same time enticing the Soviet leaders and people toward freedom. In a similar way, initiating action toward achieving global independence from petroleum (as a primary source of energy) will lead to the defeat of oil-financed terrorism.

Try to imagine what would have happened if Europe and America had been paying the Soviet Union one Trillion U.S. dollars every year, during the cold war.

Next time you buy gasoline or diesel, ask yourself the following questions:

  •  How much has the war in Iraq cost?
  •  How much does Homeland Security cost?
  •  How much has the war in Afghanistan cost?
  •  How much has the U.S. military spent policing the Middle East?
  •  How much did the destruction of the World Trade Center cost?

Terrorism is one of the hidden costs of imported oil.

The U.S. government spends billions of dollars paying for the hidden costs of America’s oil dependence.

Billions of dollars have been spent every year by the U.S. military to protect the flow of Middle East oil into the global market and to keep the price low. That is no longer working. Something has gone terribly wrong.

In addition to the monetary cost of the U.S. Military operations in the Middle East, there is the human cost. How many American soldiers will die before the American people decide that the price of oil is too high? Our nation’s wealth, along with the blood of American soldiers, is being drained onto the sands of the Middle East to keep oil flowing.

Ben FranklinOver 4,000 U.S. soldiers lost their lives in Iraq and more than 30,000 wounded since the war began on March 20, 2003

…in my opinion, there never was a good war, or a bad Peace. What vast additions to the Conveniences and Comforts of Living might Mankind have acquired if the Money spent in Wars had been employed in Works of public utility!”
— Benjamin Franklin, 1783 – quoted from a letter to Joseph Banks.
Invest in Energy Independence

Energy Security vs. Energy Independence

It is common knowledge that during World War II, Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. But most American’s who are unfamiliar with early 20th-century history do not know that before (and for a time during) World War I (WWI), Winston Churchill served as the First Lord of the Admiralty for the British Navy. It was in his role as pre-WWI First Lord of the Admiralty, that Churchill converted the British Navy from coal-power to fuel oil, to make the fleet faster than the German Navy. By doing so Churchill recognized that a new vulnerability had been created: coal was a domestic source of fuel but oil had to be imported. Relying on oil meant that the British Navy would, for the first time, be dependent on foreign sources of fuel.

It was as First Lord of the Admiralty, leading up to WWI, and in the context of the British Navy’s new dependence upon imported fuel oil, that Winston Churchill said: “Safety and certainty in oil lie in variety and variety alone.” (Churchill meant a variety of oil suppliers.)

The phrase Energy Security, which is sometimes used today as a substitute slogan for Energy Independence, originates from Winston Churchill’s pre-WWI comment.

The phrase Energy Independence was coined in 1974 after the Arab oil embargo. At that time, and for most people still today, it was believed that Energy Independence would come from a variety of alternative energy resources, with emphasis on developing the USA’s largely untapped domestic resources: coal, oil shale, nuclear and renewable energy, in addition to increased oil exploration and production in Alaska.

The striking difference between Churchill’s concept of Energy Security and the concept of Energy Independence today is that Churchill’s Energy Security required a variety of petroleum suppliers, where Energy Independence requires a variety of energy resources—domestic alternative resources, in addition to domestic petroleum resources.

The concept of American Energy Independence does not imply protectionism or economic isolation. Energy Independence means energy self-sufficiency achieved by developing America’s own alternative energy resources, and by employing advanced technology designed to convert non-petroleum [alternative] energy resources into transportation fuels that can replace petroleum-based fuels.

The USA has an abundance of domestic “non-petroleum” energy resources that could be developed to supply all of America’s transportation fuel.

Energy Security through Energy Independence

During the 2006 State of the Union Address, President Bush shocked Conservatives when he said “America is addicted to oil” — a phrase that might have been expected of a Democrat, but when a Republican president who is also a Texas oilman spoke those words on national television from the U.S. Capitol, the world knew that America’s love affair with oil was over. Then, in the summer of 2008, with oil prices breaking $120 per barrel and rising, famous Texas oilman and billionaire, T. Boone Pickens launched a private $50 million advertising campaign to convince U.S. consumers to break away from America’s dangerous dependence on imported oil.

Today, Conservatives are fully onboard—alternative energy is Patriotic—Energy Independence is finally a bipartisan issue (although how to achieve it remains a contentious partisan debate).

The addiction metaphor dramatically exposes America’s unhealthy and dangerous dependence on imported oil. The oil itself is not the addiction; the addiction metaphor applies to the behavior of the American people who willingly accept dependence on foreign countries to supply the U.S. with energy—the lifeblood of the economy, and the fuel that gives mobility to the United States military. That collective behavior is self-destructive, similar to what is seen in addicts.

The idea of energy independence was first conceived in response to the 1973 Arab oil embargo. The embargo abruptly cut off U.S. oil imports from the Middle East causing severe fuel shortages and gas rationing. Oil prices tripled, the price of gasoline quadrupled and a new American vulnerability was exposed — America’s dependence on imported oil as a primary source of energy proved to be a weakness that could be exploited to influence or subvert U.S. foreign policy; threatening to disrupt the economy and eventually impoverish the USA by transferring billions of dollars to foreign national treasuries in exchange for oil.

The idea of energy independence was not a myth then, nor is it a myth today. Energy independence is a fact of America’s past and a vision of America’s future. An achievable goal requiring sustained political will. The USA has more than enough natural resources, ingenuity, and technology to achieve energy independence… again.

Yes, again.

Prior to 1950, the U.S. had absolute energy independence. In 1950 the USA was producing over 50 percent of the world’s oil, enough for all of its own needs with plenty left over for exports. But the post-World War II U.S. economic boom eventually created a demand for more oil than U.S. wells could produce.

Between 1950 and 1973 (the year of the embargo) U.S. oil imports had grown from near zero to about 32 percent of U.S. oil consumption. By 1994, the U.S. was importing more oil than it produced. In 2010, oil imports will provide about 60 percent of all oil consumed in the USA.

Energy independence does not require zero imports, but it does require zero dependence on imports that could directly or indirectly place the U.S. in a position of economic, political or military vulnerability.

Energy independence can be thought of as either absolute or strategic.

Absolute energy independence means a country produces all of its own energy, which was true for the U.S. prior to 1950.

Strategic energy independence means a country allows imported energy, but only if the imported energy does not create vulnerability. Strategic energy independence allows oil imports but does not allow the imports to create economic, political, or military vulnerability.

In order to understand the difference between absolute and strategic independence, it is important to recognize that importing a commodity does NOT create dependence. Dependence only occurs when the imported commodity creates vulnerability for the importing nation. In order for a commodity to create vulnerability, the commodity must be of strategic value regarding its potential to injure the importing country economically or militarily, if the exporting country deliberately cuts off supply.

Strategic energy independence can be achieved through an alliance of nations that share mutual interests. Economic and military interdependence between nations can produce a powerful global force for good, but only if the members of the alliance share basic cultural values and a commitment to protect the freedoms of their people.

There is nothing inherently wrong with energy interdependence in regard to importing oil. But anyone who values freedom must ask: where is the oil money going? What is the oil money being used for? Is there a connection between the flow of oil money into the Middle East and the flow of terrorism out of the Middle East?

America does not need to regain absolute energy independence; there is no need to end oil imports from Canada. But the USA does need to regain strategic energy independence… again.

America did achieve strategic energy independence in 1982. In spite of some failures, the energy independence policies enacted by Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter eventually succeeded, culminating less than ten years after the oil embargo. A fact often overlooked, misunderstood, denied, or maligned.

Clearly, there is a story to be told.

Energy independence skeptics will often claim that every U.S. President since Richard Nixon has called for energy independence yet nothing has come of it, just populist demagoguery, they say, citing skewed statistics that show oil imports steadily increasing, unabated, since 1973. Journalists, academics and politicians will recite the half-true information, spreading it throughout the general population, perhaps with calculated intent or more likely because they themselves have accepted the disinformation as fact—similar to how smart people can unwittingly become ensnared in an investment Ponzi scheme because they trusted the person or source who told them about it.

It is true that U.S. oil imports in 2010 are about double what they were in 1973. But the increase in oil imports between 1973 and 2010 cannot be accurately illustrated as a continuous upward curve on a chart or graph.

After the embargo was lifted in March 1974, U.S. oil imports did continue to increase until 1979 when imports were then 56% greater than 1973 levels. But in 1980, the upward trend in U.S. oil imports reversed and began a dramatic decline.

On June 21, 1981, the Sunday edition of the New York Times printed an article titled; How the Oil Glut is Changing Business1 the headline read: “Oil glut! … Suddenly, oil is so plentiful that prices are falling by amounts that impress even big-time corporate decision-makers …”

The combined efforts of three U.S. Presidents created energy policies that had doubled vehicle fuel efficiency, increased oil production in Alaska, shifted electricity generation from petroleum fuel oil to non-petroleum fuels, and provided incentives for homes and buildings to use alternative heating and increased insulation. By 1980, these policies were dramatically reducing total U.S. oil consumption.

A steep decline in U.S. oil imports began in 1980 and continued through 1985. In 1983 U.S. oil imports fell below 1973 levels, cutting oil imports by 58% from the high of 1979. New Alaska oil production helped offset falling oil production from U.S. wells in the lower 48 states, but the difference was not enough to account for the huge decrease in imports. The only explanation that can be supported by real numbers is the enormous volume of oil consumption that was displaced by the combination of alternative fuels, increased fuel efficiency and conservation.

The 1973 oil embargo had exposed the harsh reality that America was dangerously dependent on imported oil. The energy independence policies of Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter had demonstrated that America can achieve strategic energy independence through political will and legislative action.

It took nearly ten years for U.S. energy independence policies to take effect and reverse the trend of growing oil dependence, but the results were worth the effort. For a brief period between 1982 and 1985 U.S. oil imports averaged less than 30% of total U.S. oil consumption.2

Developing alternative energy sources (primarily coal, nuclear, and natural gas to replace petroleum fuel oil used for heating and electricity generation) and keeping oil imports below 30% of total oil consumption had broken the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and ultimately exposed OPEC’s vulnerability: dependence on oil money.

The USA enjoyed strategic energy independence between 1982 and 1985.

But then, in 1986 U.S. oil imports began to increase again. Why?

By July 1986 the price of oil had fallen below $9 per barrel. Ronald Reagan was then President of the United States. President Reagan had abandoned the energy independence policies of his predecessors in favor of a free-market policy, where private industry would provide all of America’s energy needs without government interference.

In 1986, gasoline was plentiful and relatively inexpensive. Middle East oil prices were low. Without a national energy independence policy, the temptation to return to old habits was just too great. Like a recovering alcoholic taking a drink after a long rehab, the American economy began falling back into dependence.

If the energy independence policies of Nixon, Ford, and Carter can be thought of as analogous to a relay race in the Olympic Games, where each President hands the baton off to the next, sharing a common goal of winning the race, then-President Reagan did not just drop the baton, he threw it away and canceled the race.

President Reagan was elected in 1980 and assumed office in January 1981, in time to reap the rewards of energy independence which were already beginning to dramatically reduce U.S. oil consumption. Reagan had the opportunity to finish the race and fulfill the vision of strategic energy independence for all generations of Americans, but instead, he abandoned his predecessors’ energy independence policy and encouraged a return to oil imports.3

President Reagan did continue to give voice to the vision of energy independence, not by way of a national energy policy, but independence that would result from unleashing the productive capability of the free market, thus leading Americans to believe that the free market would supply all of America’s energy needs.  And perhaps that would have happened if the Reagan administration had adopted the proposed price floor guarantees for American energy companies investing in the development of America’s abundant oil shale resources.4  

By 1982, investors already could see that the price of oil on the world market would soon fall below a level were shale oil would be economically competitive without some form of government support. President Reagan had argued in favor of price floor guarantees in the form of offering long-term purchase agreements with the U.S. military for synthetic fuels made from U.S. shale oil, but Reagan’s advisors convinced him to abandon the nascent U.S. synthetic fuels industry as a demonstration of his faith in a global free market. After learning that Reagan would not support the industry, Exxon abandoned its billion-dollar oil shale investment in Colorado.

The U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corporation was created by Congress in 1980 for the purpose of helping to fund private synthetic fuels investment in America. The Synthetic Fuels Corporation Act authorized up to 80 billion dollars, a figure often cited as the actual cost to U.S. taxpayers. However, before it was abolished in 1986, the U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corporation had cost the U.S. taxpayers less than what the U.S. military spent every month in 2009 for the Iraq war.

Reagan had justified his decision to end government support for synthetic fuels based on a projected cost of $60 per barrel for synthetic crude oil made from oil shale, and gasoline costing $2 per gallon based on the $60 per barrel projected cost. America’s investment in strategic energy independence was thrown away because it would eventually force American drivers to pay as much as $2 per gallon for gasoline—unthinkable, or so it seemed at that time.

Ronald Reagan’s vision of a global free market, inspired by economist Milton Friedman, created an unwritten federal energy policy limiting the government’s involvement in U.S. energy production and distribution, including price floor guarantees. The “limitation” assumes that America’s energy will be provided by private corporations and individuals, acting in their own financial self-interest. If the U.S. government, acting in America’s self-interest, becomes involved in energy production and distribution, either directly or in partnership with private industry, or by way of price floor guarantees, the act is considered to be socialism, unless it is military action.

Reagan’s global free trade policy had set the stage for increased oil imports. Without a national energy independence policy defining oil as a strategic commodity and energy independence as a strategic policy, the USA was heading back into the same dependence that previous administrations worked so hard to overcome. Reagan’s advisors refused to acknowledge the strategic value of oil, and the vulnerability created by dependence on any strategic commodity that is controlled by a foreign government hostile to American values and economic interests.

Reagan’s economic advisors had advocated the idea that importing oil would be no different than importing shoes and socks and refrigerators. Supporters of the idea would defend the policy with rhetorical questions like, “Should America want to be refrigerator independent?” as though any reasonable person would see that a refrigerator embargo would be no different than an oil embargo. Of course, the American people did not fall for that nonsense, it had escaped their attention, because the price of gasoline had already gone back to acceptable levels and the people had returned to their normal lives, trusting their government to do what is right.

Contrary to the popular belief that Ronald Reagan boldly deregulated oil prices and thereby increased production of oil in the U.S., President Reagan—after assuming office in January 1981—merely accelerated, by executive order, the phased decontrol of oil prices that had been in progress since June of 1979, gradual decontrol initiated by President Carter over eighteen months before Reagan became President. The executive order signed by President Reagan ended price controls abruptly, eight months before full decontrol would have automatically taken effect by law, as set forth in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.

Decontrol of oil and fuel prices failed to stimulate a significant increase in domestic oil production, contrary to some opinions often heard today. However, decontrol did allow increased imports of gasoline and other fuels, which caused the price of gasoline to suddenly fall. It was the increased gasoline imports that led people to believe that Reagan’s energy policy was working. The immediate relief at the pump was what people remembered.

President Nixon had initiated price controls in 1971, before the oil embargo, for the purpose of containing surging inflation; a technique that was both effective and necessary during World War II, but was almost certainly an act of political desperation in 1971. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, signed into law by President Ford, extended Nixon’s oil price controls to 1979, authorizing the President of the United States to end price controls in 1979 if the President determined that ending controls at that time was in the best interest of the country, but if the President chose not to exercise the option, the 1975 Act specified that government control over the price of oil would automatically cease at the end of September 1981.

In a nationally televised address on April 5, 1979, President Carter announced phased decontrol of oil prices that would begin June 1, 1979, and continue at a uniform rate of reduction over 28 months, at which time decontrol would be completed, in compliance with the September 1981 deadline required by the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act. Carter faced opposition by Unions and Congressional Democrats, but he did it anyway. In 1980 Congress enacted the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act to compensate for the decontrol of oil prices. On April 2, 1980, Carter signed the Windfall Profit Tax into law.

During the 1980 presidential campaign Reagan had promised to repeal the Windfall Profit Tax, but he allowed the tax to continue through both terms of his presidency, until 1988 when, on August 23, he signed the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 which finally repealed the tax.

The USA is the world’s largest consumer of oil; the dramatic reduction in U.S. oil consumption resulting from the energy independence policies in effect following the Arab oil embargo and prior to Reagan’s presidency had caused a surplus of oil on the world market, which ultimately forced the global price of oil down.

It would be accurate to say that every U.S. President after Jimmy Carter has called for energy independence, but nothing has come of it, because commitments to the global economy—global free trade policies—beginning with the Reagan administration have discouraged the USA from “acting in its own self-interest” as a nation.

The USA is the only country in the world that imposes that limitation on itself. It is a self-defeating limitation reminiscent, metaphorically, of how the British Army fought the American Continental Army during the American Revolution, where the British soldiers stood in the open, on principle, wearing bright red uniforms while the colonial soldiers shot at them from behind trees. The American colonies won their independence because they acted, as a nation, in their own self-interest, willing to do whatever it took to accomplish their goal — Independence.

Imagine that the year is 1775 and Thomas Jefferson is pondering the issue of America’s independence from Great Britain. What might he have been thinking?

On November 29, 1775, Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Randolph; “there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament proposes; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.5

On December 1, 1775, American Continental Army General Charles Lee wrote to British General Burgoyne: “You ask me, in your letter, if it is independence at which the Americans aim? I answer no; the idea never entered a single American’s head until most intolerable oppression forced it upon them…6

Now imagine that Great Britain’s King George III has just received a signed copy of the United States Declaration of Independence. What are his first thoughts? How dare they? Or, perhaps, a strategy of propaganda to convince the rebels that independence is a myth, with grave warnings of the “dangerous delusions” of independence.

Forward to recent history — a relevant comparison: in October 1973 OPEC oil-producing countries, led by Libya and Saudi Arabia, cut off oil supplies to the United States causing massive fuel shortages and unprecedented fuel prices. The purpose of the embargo was to force political concessions from the United States. Before the embargo, Americans had never thought of energy independence.

The Arab oil embargo was the beginning of America’s submission to a foreign tax in the form of commodity price-fixing and resource supply manipulation on a global scale. This intolerable oppression, forced upon Americans by a foreign power, created what has become America’s quest for energy independence.

Adobe PDF print copy   size: 410 Kb – 8 pages

  1. Robert Hershey Jr. “How the oil glut is changing business”. The New York Times (June 21, 1981, Sunday, Late City Final Edition, Section 3, Page 1, Column 2).
  2. A Declaration of Energy Independence, Jay Hakes, chapter 2 – A Forgotten Victory Gives Hope: How America solved its last energy crisis and cut oil imports in half.
  3. A Declaration of Energy Independence, Jay Hakes, chapter 3 – Lapsing Back into Oil Addiction: Retreating from Battle under Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush.
  4. Some Setbacks for Synfuels, By Edward E. Scharff; Robert T. Grieves; Gary Lee, Time Magazine – Monday, Sep. 14, 1981
  5. The Declaration of Independence: Its History; by John H. Hazelton, Dodd, Mead & Co., 1906
  6. ibid.

U.S. Electric Utility Companies responded to the threat of the 1973 Arab oil embargo by replacing petroleum fuel oil with USA coal, nuclear energy, and natural gas to power their generators. The USA no longer depends on petroleum to generate electricity for the power grid. The USA is not dependent on foreign sources of energy for electricity generation.

The U.S. Automobile industry must do today what the U.S. Electric Utility industry did over 35 years ago — Kick the oil habit!

Seventy percent of all oil consumed in the USA is used for transportation fuel—gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

American Energy Independence will be achieved when American drivers can fill their cars and trucks with non-petroleum fuels. Today, cars and trucks use gasoline and diesel made from petroleum. Technology exists today that can enable all cars and trucks to run on USA biofuels, natural gas, synthetic fuels, and electricity.

ABC News Video Report:
Over a Barrel: The Truth About Oil — ABC News’ Anchor Charlie Gibson investigates America’s addiction to oil and the severity of the security threat in a special edition of 20/20 — A look at how the need to secure foreign oil sources shapes U.S. foreign policy. 

Reference links:
1973 oil embargo
1979 energy crisis
1991 Persian Gulf War
2001 September 11th the USA
2003 Iraq war – to Present
25th Anniversary of the 1973 Oil Embargo
U.S. Imports of Crude Oil — 1973 to Present
OPEC Oil Export Revenues — U.S. EIA Fact Sheet
History of Energy in the United States: 1635-2000

Recommended reading:

The Saudi Connection — How billions in oil money spawned a global terror network. By David E. Kaplan, U.S.News & World Report

Nexus—Oil and Al Qaeda By Frank H. Denton, Ph.D., U.S. Foreign Service (Retired)
“The meteoric rise of oil revenues in the 20th century meant a new era for Islam; oil revenues were the catalyst that converted passive resentment into Islamic Terrorism..” Read more

Our Energy Challenge By Nobel Laureate Dr. Richard Smalley
“Energy is the single most important problem facing humanity today — not just the U.S., but also worldwide…” Read more

Online Documentary:
Saudi Time Bomb — A PBS investigation
“For more than two centuries, Wahhabism has been Saudi Arabia’s dominant faith. It is an austere form of Islam that insists on a literal interpretation of the Koran. Strict Wahhabis believe that all those who don’t practice their form of Islam are heathens and enemies. Critics say that Wahhabism’s rigidity has led it to misinterpret and distort Islam, pointing to extremists such as Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Wahhabism’s explosive growth began in the 1970s when Saudi charities started funding Wahhabi schools (madrassas) and mosques from Islamabad to Culver City, California…” Read more

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