Prospects for US Sources of Energy

energyslideThe US national security and economy depend on reliable and long-term access to abundant energy sources. Historically, the US has benefited from easy access to energy resources, including coal, oil, gas, wind, solar, and hydro power. Access to energy resources includes oil importation. Events in the 1970s demonstrated that a lack of self-reliance could lead to vulnerabilities. As a result, the US endeavored to achieve “energy independence,” to become a net exporter of energy resources. For the US, that goal was first achieved in 2020.

Energy independence is a noble goal, but it does not eliminate vulnerabilities. Malicious actors, cyberattacks on energy infrastructure, turbulence from climate change, an aging electrical grid, and unsecured supply chains pose threats to America’s competitive edge and economic wellbeing. Sudden increases in the price of energy could destabilize the population by making essential goods and services unaffordable. Residential heating and air conditioning, transportation, and commercial real estate rely on cheap energy sources. Industry depends on large supplies of energy, because, for example, manufacturing typically involves massive consumption of energy. The military requires prodigious supplies of energy in the form of jet fuel, gasoline, and nuclear power—for wartime and peacetime operations. The supply of energy resources is important, but its distribution is also essential to the population, the economy, and the military. Even when sources of energy are based on indigenous domestic supplies, disruptions can occur that put America’s national security and economy at risk.


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