A Plan to Secure America's Energy Independence

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  • 7/28/2019 A Plan to Secure America's Energy Independence


    A National Strategy for Achieving





  • 7/28/2019 A Plan to Secure America's Energy Independence




    Recommendations to the Nation on Reducing U.S. OilDependence

    Name: Cody Moreland

    Date: December 2012

    Subject: Foreign Policy

    Instructor: Dr. Hoffman

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    Table of Contents

    1 Introduction

    5 Foreign Policy Agenda

    8 The Bush Plan

    9 Policy Recommendations

    10 Reduced Reliance on Persian Gulf Oil11 Securing the Oil Supply (National Security)

    14 U.S. Oil Production

    15 Increase Investment in New Energy Technologies

    16 Switch to Alternative Fuels

    18 Expanding Sources of Oil

    20 Chinas Demand

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    IntroductionA National Strategy For Energy Security

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    A Strategy to Secure Energy Independence


    Energy is a significant obstacle to U.S. foreign policy. Our

    dependence on foreign oil is causing a rapid decline of U.S. power and

    influence in the international system. Oil remains a strategic commodity that

    is largely controlled by hostile governments throughout the world. These

    nations have the ability to increase prices and control the flow of oil at the

    tip of their fingers. The problem, in relation to the United States, is that we

    have become addicted to oil, as George Bush stated. Oil is the lifeblood of

    the Americas economy and therefore Bush proposed we move beyond a

    petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle East oil a

    thing of the past. This dependence is economically damaging and if the

    government does not take action it could eventually lead to U.S. decline in

    the international system. The Bush plan is the first step in a long process of

    securing our energy independence, enhancing our national security, and

    deterring Americans from its addiction of oil.

    North America and its oil reserves remain the swing market that

    could make or break the new gas age. The global oil supply will still keep

    markets supplied for decades to come, however, the flow of the oil is

    constantly at risk. If the U.S. were to be cut off from foreign oil, we would

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    with an OPEC price spike. The rising prices of oil acted as tax increase on

    the population, therefore off setting any benefit one received from a tax cut.

    The majority of the 12 OPEC nations are also linked to terrorism. According

    to the study,National Security Consequences of Oil Dependence, 55-60%

    of oil produced, is done by states that finance, train, and provide weapons in

    support of terrorism. The United States has revamped efforts to decrease

    our dependence on OPEC, using new drilling technologies and increased

    federal projects. These issues of achieving energy independence not only

    affect foreign policy, but also the strength of our economy and national


    Oil will remain vital to our ultimate goal of energy independence.

    Most of the world, and specifically China, will be working hard to prevent

    our energy independence. Since 2010 China has invested $17 billion into

    American oil production, as well as $18 billion into Canada. North

    American resources are vital to price risk management for China. With gas

    and oil, China will be able to purchase a stake in the production means of the

    U.S. economy, which will influence trade. A large population with a

    growing middle class will see a rapid increase in oil demanded; therefore

    China has an interest in securing oil supply routes. I believe the U.S. needs

    to think rationally when dealing with strategic partnerships, as there will be

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    times when we have to decide between resources or trade. I encourage our

    leaders to act in the interest of the American people and not political

    motives, so that we can have a brighter future of fewer conflicts and less

    dependence on instable oil regions. The cost of investments needed to secure

    our energy independence fails to compare with the trillions of dollars and

    thousand of lives we have lost struggling to create stability in a region that

    has never seen such a thing.

    The world oil supply continues to be affected by regional instability.

    In 2011, we saw an abundance of political turmoil in the North African and

    Middle East regions. These regions happen to hold about 60% of the worlds

    known oil supply. We saw a direct price spike at the pump due to this

    instability. According to the Congressional Briefing Book for 2012, the main

    conflict that had an effect on oil prices was the Civil War in Libya, which

    disrupted 1.7 mbd in the global market. This instability caused the highest

    yearly average of oil prices ever recorded in the international system (Congr.

    Brief 2012). We also saw imports from Nigeria decrease by 22% in 2012 as

    oil production was disrupted due to civil unrest (Energy Info Admin).

    Nigeria provides the U.S. with more oil than any other Middle Eastern

    country except Saudi Arabia. This regional instability continues to hinder

    our foreign policy agenda, as well as affecting our flow of oil.

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    Foreign Policy Agenda

    The U.S. dependence on foreign oil has created a weakness in our foreign policy.

    First off, the control over immense oil revenues allows exporting nations the flexibility to

    create strategies that oppose U.S. interests. Iran continues to develop their nuclear

    program and appears to be close to acquiring the weapon. Russia has been allowed to

    disregard U.S. values, as it has shifted toward authoritarian policies thanks to vast

    revenues from oil and gas. Venezuela has enough capital from its oil trade to become a

    regional power in the Latin American political sphere. The revenue from oil allows them

    to fund changes such as Bolivias latest decision to nationalize its oil. Due to their

    increasing oil wealth, many producer nations are able to disregard U.S. policies and have

    increasingly become a serious threat to our national security.

    Secondly, due to oil dependence, there have been shifts in foreign policy interests

    that limit the ability of the United States to form strategic partnerships and achieve

    common goals. We have seen nations that are dependent on oil imports adjust their

    foreign policies to be favorable toward suppliers. For example, China has been creating

    strategic partnerships in the Middle East and Africa because of its quest to secure future

    oil supplies. The U.S. has been strategically tied to Saudi Arabia, despite not having the

    same values. Most of the European Union has been hesitant to tackle complex issues with

    Iran and Russia due to their dependence on oil and gas. The UN sanctions against Iran

    have removed 2.5 million barrels per day from the market. This has caused some oil

    dependent states to be unwilling to take action against the nuclear program. The U.S.

    needs to create strategic partnerships with rapidly growing consumers, especially India

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    and China. This emerging market in Asia could allow for expanding trade of oil and


    With oil supply becoming increasingly limited, the worlds biggest oil consumers

    have become specifically focused on securing future supply. It seems that these nations

    are making their oil interests a top priority. In Sudan, civil war and widespread

    humanitarian cruelties have not stopped the Chinese government and its oil companies

    from financing oil supply and infrastructure developments. We have seen China prevent

    other nations efforts from solving the Darfur crisis in Sudan through use of UN veto

    power. Likewise, this dependence on oil has forced China, India, and many European

    nations to finance oil opportunities in Iran, despite interests to contain its nuclear

    ambitions. This clearly illustrates how dependent nations have become in regards to oil. I

    believe it is in the best interest of the U.S. to not be involved in these entangling


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    The U.S. imports about 4 mbd or 1.5 billion barrels total from hostile or

    unstable suppliers with a total cost $150 billion going to the American taxpayer. This

    total excludes Venezuela, which is one of our top 5 suppliers. They did not make the list

    because they are not considered by the U.S. State Departments as hostile or unstable,

    although they have sustained an anti-American foreign and energy policy.

    Achieving oil independence from the hostile regions of the world would help

    solve this problem. Energy issues need to become a central part of US policy making. It

    has been put on the backburner for too long, and we are beginning to see the

    consequences it has on our economy and national security

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    Bush Plan

    In 2005 President Bush created the Energy Policy Act, the Alternative Fuel

    Standard proposal and the Renewable Fuel Standard program. This program continues to

    be a homerun for the American public as it enhances our energy security, while at the

    same time protects the environment and supports the American agriculture market. Bush

    asked Congress to allow the head of the Department of Transportation to reform the car

    fuel economy standard. The presidents plan calls for an increase in the use of renewable

    and alternative fuel sources. The plan proposed that the market would see growth in the

    alternative fuel sources due to increased government investment towards technology. We

    have seen the positive effects of Bushs investments in the last few years with new

    technologies being discovered called hydraulic fracking. Reserves are being unlocked

    now that just five years ago were deemed unthinkable. This has caused what is known as

    the second American oil boom. Bush believed if Congress acted on these plans that we

    would reduce the use of oil by 20 percent within ten years.

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    Policy Recommendations: Moving forward

    We are putting the country at risk by giving our adversaries major

    leverage. To achieve leverage against these adversaries in the global oil

    market, the U.S. needs to limit the consumed amount of foreign oil coming

    from hostile regions. This reduced reliance on foreign oil would allow for

    Congress to cut the defense budget if necessary, as well as leaving open the

    possibility of increased humanitarian efforts, which in turn would allow the

    U.S. to gain trust in the international system, once again. . This would allow

    for a significant withdrawal of U.S. military forces in the Middle East. We

    also need to see the growth in consumption reduced in part because the rest

    of the world is seeing a vast increase in oil demanded. The only true

    solution to the problem is to move away from oil and create a diversified

    energy market so that monopolies cannot exist. We have seen President

    Obama continue the Bushs plan and if bi-partisan support continues,

    Congress shall meet its common objective: Energy Independence.

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    Reduced Reliance On Persian Gulf Oil

    One of the goals of the Iraq war was to create stability in the oil rich region in

    order to secure the future flow of oil to the U.S. When we have seen an increase in the

    supply, as well as a secure flow of oil, the price of oil has decreased worldwide.

    Therefore, we should multilaterally encourage oil production throughout the world, as

    interdependence has proven to work. An increased oil supply from sources outside the

    Middle East is a positive for the international oil market because it can limit the

    dependence on the instable Middle East region. However, if we become oil independent

    we will no longer have a valid cause for military action in the Middle East. This will

    remain a huge obstacle in Congress, as there are members who think this will weaken our

    global stature, and others who believe it will only make us stronger. A realist would say it

    comes down to more than just oil, but also U.S. global power.

    It is a possibility of U.S. global power being severely undermined if we remove

    forces from the region. Countries will begin to have an increased reliance on China for

    security purposes as the U.S. reduces its presence in the region. China will become the

    dominating regional power and will grow its influence in the Persian Gulf. This could be

    a double-edged sword against the U.S. because we will remain connected to global oil

    prices, however we would have limited influence in the Gulf. It is possible that if China

    were to become the regional power we could eventually see newly formed alliances,

    dividing the world in half again as we saw with the two superpowers of the Cold War.

    This influence could range from a wide variety of issues including nuclear talks or

    peacekeeping efforts. Congresses power, when it comes foreign policy, could be

    severely limited with a decline in U.S. global influence. Therefore, I believe it will be

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    beneficial to both political parties in Congress to increase trade to stable countries in the

    Persian Gulf region. If Congress to maintain a strong economic presence in the region as

    it should make up any ground we lose to China. It would allow us to withdrawal troops,

    but at the same time remain influential in the region. The subject of U.S. global influence

    is just one of the many obstacles Congress must face in our quest to achieve energy


    Securing the Oil Supply (National Security)

    Our energy independence has a direct correlation to our national security. Oil

    dependence deteriorates our national security agenda. Vulnerability of supply lines and

    global oil stockpiles has forced the U.S. to bear the burden of protecting the flow of the

    world oil supply. Having our troops entwined in several unstable parts of the world, as

    the main guardian of the flow of oil, strictly limits our policy decisions in the

    international system. However, at the current rate, it is essential to protect the flow of oil

    because our current economy is oil-based. Oil reserves remain vital in protecting markets

    against crippling disruptions to the supply. The U.S. and many other oil-importing

    nations created oil reserves in the 1970s to prevent risks that could occur if there is

    disruption in the supply.

    We should increase our reserve from 700 million barrels of crude oil to 1 billion

    barrels. If there is a disruption in the world oil supply, oil can be drawn from the reserve

    in order to even out the price of oil in the U.S. With over 50 percent of the supply being

    transported via maritime routes, there is a high risk of attack by hostile actors. We saw

    first hand last year what such a disruption can do to the price of oil. The price of oil

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    spiked due to threats by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz, which is known as the worlds

    most strategic choke point. A mass disruption in the flow of oil has harsh effects on the

    U.S economy and will still remain one of our biggest threats for years to come. A future

    possibility of disruption in the oil supply would be U.S. involvement in a regional war in

    the Middle East. State actors could cut off oil supply to the U.S, and could cause an

    economic depression.

    As long as terror cells remain strong in the oil region, terrorism will remain the

    primary threat against supply routes and national security. According to Dennis Blair, an

    expert on Middle East oil policy, the petroleum facilities are high on Al Qaedas hit list.

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    Al Qaedas main goal is to disrupt the weakened the U.S. economy. Our best policy is to

    continue the hunt for terrorists, while increasing our focus on becoming far less

    dependent on foreign petroleum, which as Blair stated, is a commodity for which there

    is no free market.

    We need to make sure the infrastructure of our oil reserves are up to date.

    Hurricane Katrina gave us insight to the vulnerability of our reserves. They were

    shutdown during the hurricane due to electricity outages affecting the power to the

    reserve facilities. If our facilities are secure from a natural disaster or terrorist attack, then

    the price of oil will not sky rocket during times when the reserve is needed. There needs

    to be joint cooperation between the government and the oil industry to ensure these

    vulnerabilities are reduced. As well as cooperation between members of Congress and

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which was created to control our stockpiles

    of oil. They have produced plans to create natural gas pipelines throughout North

    America; however, some of these plans, such as the Keystone Pipeline, have been

    delayed due to local opposition and political disagreement. Congress has seen gridlock on

    the issue and interest groups have researched the possible environmental damage to

    grasslands and aquifers along the route, which have proven to be critical to our

    ecosystems. Congress must weigh the positive and negative benefits, both economically

    and environmentally, before sending a proposal to the President. President Obama has

    said he is disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision to strike down

    the Keystone pipeline, but it does not change my administrations commitment to

    American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil.

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    US Oil Production

    North America has been the fasting growing producer of oil and natural gas in

    recent years due to new developments in technologies, such as shale oil extraction. This

    American-made energy that Obama describes creates jobs and reduces our dependence

    on foreign oil. This recent surge in production must continue for the U.S. to achieve

    energy independence. The U.S. remains the third largest producer of oil in the world and

    saw a growth in production over the last three consecutive years for the first time since

    1983-1985 (DOE, EIA). The recent uptick in U.S. oil production is being propelled by

    recent development in specific regions in the country such as the Midwest, Alaska, and

    the Federal offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico (US Oil Dependence). Drilling in the

    Gulf came to a halt after the Deep-water Horizon incident of 2011, but we were able to

    make up for the loss of production with Congresses approval for increased oil drilling in

    North Dakota and Texas (Congr. Brief 2012). Congress should enact safety measures to

    prevent accidents like the deep-water Horizon spill from happening in the future.

    Congress could then build a bipartisan consensus for the expanded use of offshore


    This current rate of domestic production is still not enough. Even with our

    increased production, we still do not produce enough domestically to supply our current

    rate of 19mbd. The world demand for oil has only increased over this time, which has

    lead to higher prices and more imported oil. This is a substantial obstacle for the U.S., as

    it weakens personal capital and limits private investments. With an increasing global

    demand for oil supply, we have also seen competiveness between the world powers heat

    up in securing future flow of oil.

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    Increased Investments in New Energy Technologies

    When it comes to investing in new energy technologies the private sector seems

    to always forget to take into account the benefits that the entire population would receive

    from new energy technologies. Therefore, the need for government investment is crucial

    for the future of not only our energy technology, but also our energy efficiency, making

    our energy secure, and increasing supply in the U.S. The Department of Energy is

    primarily responsible to tackle these difficult tasks before it becomes a handcuff to our

    foreign policy.

    Strong subsidies are needed to encourage the investment of new efficient

    methods of energy. We have to keep a close eye on these investment companies so they

    do not fail like Solyndra. Congresses approved governmental investment in new

    technologies could be what makes or break the future of our energy independence.

    As of 2012, oil provides for 36 percent of the US energy demand, with 70 percent

    directed to fuels used in transportation gasoline, diesel and jet fuel (Institute for Energy

    Resource). Oil is the heart and soul of the American commerce. We need to learn as a

    collective party to reduce our consumption of oil. Policies need to be put in place to slow

    the growth in our demand. One solution to slow our demand for oil is to create a tax on

    every gallon of gasoline purchased. According to the National Security Consequences of

    US Oil Dependency, this would decrease the use of oil by 3 to 6 percent. Over the course

    of the next decade we would see an increase in fuel-efficient vehicles purchased and

    produced, due to the tax, bringing down US dependence on oil. Overtime, the total

    population of vehicles in the US would become more efficient. The possibility of a vast

    increase in public transportation could lead to less demand of oil. Electric modes of

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    transportation, such as the subway system are a win-win situation for society due to the

    decrease in oil consumption and an increase in the use of public transportation.

    Switch to Alternative fuels

    In order for alternatives to be successful, they have to be readily available to the

    consumers at a reasonable cost. A government subsidy for the use of alternatives is

    necessary in becoming a less oil dependent country. There needs to be an increased focus

    on the development of nuclear power, but before this can be mass produced, the

    government needs to find better solutions for nuclear waste. Increased security of these

    installations will be a necessity as a terrorist attack on the nuclear plants is a definite

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    possibility. This wealth of electricity supply could help wean the U.S. off of oil and lead

    to a population of electric based vehicles. Electric vehicles are starting to be a hot

    commodity on U.S. car lots. It is extremely important to maintain this action so that we

    can sustain a major share in the market. This solution would decrease the dependence on

    foreign oil and lead to the US becoming more energy independent.

    When oil fields, such as ANWR, are brought up in foreign policy they are usually

    struck down by wildlife and environmental activists. ANWR was actually set aside by

    Congress for oil exploration in the 80s. We should consider leaving the reserve

    untouched for now so that we have a safe haven if we ever dried our reserves. A

    possibility of this happening would be a world war. While it may not happen anytime

    soon, it could happen one day and oil could be the key target. However, we still need to

    understand the potentials of oil-enriched areas like ANWR. If areas like this are opened

    for business, we could see the US production of oil increase, which would lower the

    global price of oil. There are many environmental obstacles, such as interests groups that

    Congress must overcome if they wish to use ANWR to become energy independent.

    The Alaska National Interest Land Claims Act (ANILCA), which created the

    current ANWR border in 1980 mandates that no development within the area is allowed

    without approval from Congress. I would urge Congress members to look at a similar

    area just 50 miles west of ANWR. It is known as Prudhoe Bay Oil field and it is where

    the largest oil exploration area in North America is located. A study on animal life in and

    around the area has been done by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. They have

    found that there was an increase from 5000 to 33000 caribou in the area over a course of

    thirty years (ANWR.ORG). According to a report by the US Fish and Wildlife Service

    these animals, including oxen, brown bears as well as polar bears, live through the

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    biggest oil field in North America and show no sign of ill effects. Studies similar have

    been done by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Alaska Department of Fish

    and Game. The Exxon Valdez disaster allowed for a wake-up call for the government to

    control oil companies environmental standards. This has exponentially improved

    wildlife in the arctic region. In the Prudhoe Bay region, if any wildlife is crossing the

    road, vehicles are required by law to stop and wait for the animal to pass by naturally, or

    to turn around and go another way. Oil companies are strict on wildlife and do not allow

    workers to interfere with the natural movement of wildlife. There are obvious obstacles

    such as environmental interest groups and Congressional gridlock. All the evidence

    should be weighed before the government makes a decision on weather to drill in the

    ANWR region that was reserved for petroleum exploration.

    Expanding sources of oil

    World consumption of oil will still increase over time regardless if the US

    chooses an aggressive approach to control oil demand. The U.S. has a strategic interest in

    maintaining stability in the Middle East due to the vast amount of oil reserves. The U.S.

    closest oil partner in the Middle East is clearly Saudi Arabia with 8.1% of our oil imports

    coming from their reserves (Energy Information Administration 2012). We should

    support expanded production in the country as long as there are still improvements to the

    humanitarian efforts. It is crucial to move away from the authoritarian governments that

    have created instability for years in the region. As we saw in the Iraq war, the purpose

    was to create political stability so that authoritarian leaders do not restrict the production

    of oil. I believe the best solution for our reliance on the Middle East is for the

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    government to encourage production in other areas, such as West Africa and other

    locations throughout the globe. If we diversify our oil imports throughout the world, we

    can have a society that is more economically integrated, which would lead to less

    conflict. As we have seen with the Strait of Hormuz in 2012, if oil supply routes are at

    risk, it affects the entire global economy. It is necessary for the U.S. to practice

    multilateralism in dealing with these security issues. The president should use the bully

    pulpit to encourage a coalition of nations, which should be developed to focus on

    building an infrastructure security program. The program would protect critical

    infrastructures and transit routes, such as the Strait of Hormuz or Panama Canal. The

    coalition could use naval war games as an act of deterrence against threats to shut the

    strait down.

    Another world power, Russia, remains the second-largest oil exporter, as well as

    the largest exporter and producer of natural gas. Russia plays an important role in the

    international system. They have used their influence in a broad range of issues including

    stability in Central Asia, as well as cooperation with Iran in regards to its nuclear

    program. We have seen Russia increase production of oil and gas in recent years under

    government operation. Even though we have differences in our foreign policy objectives

    the US should strongly support the expanding production.

    The proposal of a Bering Strait tunnel connecting Russia and North America

    would strengthen US-Russian relations over the long term, along with increasing cultural

    ties between the two continents. The proposal would allow for the free flow of oil,

    people, and products around the world. This interdependence is essential to advancing

    global peace and shared prosperity among nations. Congress would face obstacles such as

    interest groups fighting over constructing the project or engineering concerns. Hearings

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    would need to be held, as it would be a monumental step in connecting the West and the

    East. An obstacle to moving this forward would be getting bi-partisan support. The tunnel

    would be a hot button political topic and it is possible that we could see gridlock between

    parties. I encourage Congress to approve this with bipartisan support, as this is a matter

    for securing our future and not for personal political gain.

    The expansion of pipelines throughout all of North America is essential in

    achieving energy independence from the rest of the world. Pipelines connecting Canada,

    Mexico, and the United States would see levels of efficiency increase as well as security.

    The money spent on 150,000 troops being stationed in the Persian Gulf could be used to

    protect oil pipelines and reserves at home. This would appeal to most members of

    Congress. It would also allow these troops to be closer to their families and public

    approval would sky rocket. The U.S. would no longer have the entangling alliances we

    now have in the Middle East. As Thomas Jefferson said, Peace, commerce, and honest

    friendship with all nationsentangling alliances with none.

    Chinas Demand

    I advise the U.S. to keep a watchful eye on China as they continue their quest to

    block U.S. efforts to achieve oil independence. They will prefer to remain interdependent

    with the U.S. in order to strategically position themselves for their increasing demand of

    oil. China is involved in many deals to secure their future oil flow. They have been

    providing weapons and security guarantees to petroleum supplying states such as Iran,

    Venezuela, Nigeria, and some countries in South Asia, as well as preventing other states

    from supplying petroleum to the free world. These deals typically involve some sort of

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    Chinese investment into the region, such as airports or schools to lock up future reserves.

    In some cases, China has even supplied arms to countries in return for a percentage of

    future oil production. This investment has only lead to vast instability in hostile regions

    throughout the world, as well as increased prices of oil worldwide.

    The actions of the Chinese government are preventing the U.S. from achieving

    its personal interests. The Chinese Investment Corporation (C.I.C.) has invested billions

    of dollars towards Chinese oil-producing companies. They have operations in states such

    as Kansas, Texas, and North Dakota as well as of our shores in the Gulf of Mexico and

    the coast of California. They have a vision of tankers crossing the Pacific for years to

    come, as it will be cheaper to purchase oil from a region known for stability. They are

    using large-scale investments to secure a high rate of international exports through

    Canada as well. The C.I.C. has invested heavily in making sure Canadian oil finds its

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    way to the international markets instead of down through the Midwest to Texas, via the

    Keystone Pipeline. If China is highly invested in U.S. oil production efforts they will

    virtually be able to supply their own increasing demand without the U.S. being able to do

    anything. This could cause a large price increase and the American taxpayers would take

    the bullet.

    We must not make the same mistake as China in creating these entangling oil

    alliances. Being self-sufficient will make the U.S. a stronger world power due to less

    money being spent on foreign imports. The price of oil will remain cheap if we are self -

    sufficient and the American economy will reap the benefits of the booming oil market.

    The Persian Gulf conflicts of the last twenty years have provided key evidence that a

    boosted presence in hostile regions has only increased the price of oil, as well as

    amplified threats to our national security. As the competition to lock up future oil

    reserves increases, so does the possibility of conflict among world powers. We must

    make sure that this competition does not disrupt U.S.-China economic ties, as well as

    create conflict, because they are both vital to maintaining U.S. prosperity and influence in

    the international system. If the U.S. does not increase investments in North America for

    oil production means, China will do so anyways, taking a big stake of the U.S. economy

    with them. Becoming the leading producer of oil in the world is a short-term tactical

    victory for the U.S. The real victory will be for China as they will be able to secure their

    energy needs of the future and increase their superpower prestige. China will be able to

    use this leverage to even out U.S. production profits and break the pricing game. With

    Chinas increasing demand for oil, it is a cheap and plausible strategy to discretely invest

    against our energy independence.

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    If the previous steps to ensuring U.S. energy independenceare taken, we will be self-sufficient by the year 2035.

    According to the IEA, we will overtake Saudi Arabia as the

    worlds largest oil producer by this date. The recent

    recovery of gas and oil production has been in large part

    due to the advancement in drilling technologies. If the U.S.is able to steer interests from the volatile region of the

    Middle East, we could see an increase of U.S power in the

    international system. We must realize that sacrifice is

    necessary in achieving the goal of energy independence.

    America is not going to change their consumption habits

    without the government interfering. We can no longer

    ignore the fact that oil is a dangerous commodity. It strictly

    limits our foreign policy agenda and distorts the image of

    the shining city upon the hill, in which Tocqueville

    described. To remain exceptional in the modern world, the

    U.S. must break its addiction; Oil.