Thursday, June 5, 2014

The “Shale Revolution” and “Energy Independence”—Myths, Realities, and America’s Strategic Delusions

"... Pursuing energy independence, in defiance of reality in today’s oil and gas markets, is not just quixotic—it is counterproductive for America’s standing and influence.  It is counterproductive most immediately because it reinforces official Washington’s longstanding conviction that the United States doesn’t have to engage in real diplomacy with strategic rivals—that is, diplomacy which recognises and accommodates their legitimate national interests (e.g., Russia’s interest in not having the West turn other post-Soviet states into anti-Russian platforms, or Iran’s interest in developing safeguarded but indigenously managed nuclear fuel cycle capabilities).More broadly, American political and policy elites should understand that the opposite of energy independence is not energy dependence—it is energy interdependence.  Since World War II, the stabilisation of energy interdependence has been a critical element in America’s standing as a great power.
For decades, America’s interest in stabilising energy interdependence has been embodied in its commitment to defend the free flow of Persian Gulf hydrocarbons to international markets.  But the U.S. interest in Persian Gulf oil, from its origins in World War II, has never been primarily about America’s own energy needs..."

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