USA Energy Security
Energy security occupies a prominent place in providing national security in the United States. There is a close relation between the national security and energy security of the country. The unbalanced supply of oil can lead to economic threats and thus security damage. In the recent years, it became a critical issue in the modern world as it is extremely vulnerable due to the numerous treats. They include instability of energy production as well as manipulation and competition among the oil producers. Thus, taking into consideration all the threats to the energy security of the country, one can state that the increase of oil supply is one of the best solutions for the United States.
Nevertheless, the domestic energy production will allow strengthening the national economy and developing new energy resources. In addition, the promotion of economy policy can reduce the necessary amounts of energy and save them ensuring a higher level of energy security. Finally, new clean and renewable energy sources and technologies can serve as a perfect addition to oil and gas. Therefore, a simple increase of oil supply cannot guarantee energy security in the United States as it depends on several factors including the boost of domestic oil production, economy policy and transition to clean energy resources.
Domestic Oil Production
Domestic oil production became a top priority for the country administration as it is closely connected with the national energy security. Thus, the United States can gain the energy independence by means of cutting the amount of imported oil. Hence, since 2008, the production of crude oil and natural gas increased immensely whereas the overall oil import started falling declining the share of net imports (Zichal, 2012).
The government of the United States goes forward the expansion of national oil and gas production. These steps include the advancements of the Atlantic oil and gas formations as well as the enhancement of the development of existing onshore and offshore leases. In addition, country aims at expanding the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico by means of extension the drilling leases and development of new sites in this area (Miller, 2013).
One more constituent of America’s energy security is connected with the place of origin of foreign oil. However, it is not the most important issue, as the market is open for everyone, and one country can replace another in oil supply. In terms of energy security, the most favorable suppliers of oil will remain Canada and Latin America. The large oil reserves of Latin America provide the critically important supply to the USA and oil balance in the world (Cala & Economides, 2012).
Nevertheless, the United States remains the major oil producer in the world, followed by Saudi Arabia and Russia. According to that, the extraction of the shale rock energy and production of crude oil and natural gas liquids pursue the strengthening of national energy security. Francisco Blanch, the head of commodities research of the Bank of America Corp. states that this increase in the oil supply is highly meaningful for the USA (Smith, 2014). Thus, the energy supply plays a significant role in the support of the country’s energy security as otherwise the prices would become too high.
The country does not move to drilling new shale formations unless they totally develop the existing ones. The oil and gas producers work on finding solutions and opportunities to get as much oil as possible from the already existing formations. According to the Institute for Energy Research (2014), the USA increases its oil production annually and the total production as of July 2014 made 8.5 million barrels a day. This quantity became real due to the directional drilling in the shale areas and the hydraulic fracturing.
The current year brought the world a significant decline in the oil prices. As of October 2014, they were “hovering around $82 a barrel” and they seem to drop further (Bunker, 2014). The reasons are simple and still dramatically influential. They lie in the changes of supply and demand respectively. However, the implications of each of these factors include economic growth, inequality and security in the United States. Thus, the country must stop the dependence on foreign oil as this fact makes it vulnerable and poses numerous threats. Moreover, the use of nationally produced oil can bring other benefits, the principal of which is strengthening of the national energy security.
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According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “improving energy efficiency is one of the most constructive and cost-effective ways to address the challenges of high energy prices and energy security” (“Energy Efficiency,” n.d.). It includes the upgrade of efficiency of the new and already existing facilities. Moreover, home efficiency can reduce the energy demand and save the household funds as well.
The other solution that is undeniably influential and possesses the promising perspectives is the modernization of cars, trucks and other vehicles. The government conducts numerous programs aimed at the reduction of the fuel consumption and increase of efficiency and economy of oil usage. Therefore, people will save considerable sums of money they spend at the gas stations, thus saving the energy resources of the country making it less vulnerable and dependable.
Hence, the way of economic improvements in the vehicles, equipment and infrastructure, energy efficient buildings and appliances is an essential alternative to the import of foreign oil (Sandalow, 2011). The country will not need it, thus relying on the national security and economy. In addition, the nation will get a cleaner environment as the greenhouse gas emission will decrease. Moreover, the decline of air pollutants will eliminate smog, soot, and smoke damaging human’s health.
According to Heather Zichal (2012), the Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, these standards of fuel economy “will save more than twice the amount of oil” any American pipeline would deliver. Thus, they can dramatically increase the energy security as the reduced consumption will cut the dependence on oil. As a result, the enhancement of energy efficiency standards in transport, facilities, appliances as well as the improvement of energy saving technologies can serve as an efficient energy security action plan.
Transition to Clean Energy Technologies
The USA can rely on its domestic resources as they can guarantee economic stability and energy security. However, these sources are not renewable and in the future they may become too expensive to drill or too hazardous to the environment. In contrast, various clean energy technologies will never run out. Thus, the development of alternative energy resources can also support national security. However, the alternative resources cannot serve as the primary ones, and the development of the existing drills and work on new formations is the principal task of the national policy makers (Anadon, Bunn, & Narayanamurti, 2014).
Transition to renewable energy technologies can make an immense contribution to the support of energy security in the country. Consequently, it concerns the improvements of heat systems and supply, generation of electricity and the transportation system. The renewable energy systems possess the essential characteristics for providing energy security of the country. Hence, they are environmentally friendly, always present and never ending, and the energy networks they provide are less vulnerable and complicated than the traditional ones (Moe & Midford, 2014).
The rising petroleum demand can be satisfied by means of renewable biofuels. Although nowadays it seems to be relatively expensive, these technologies have much to promise. Moreover, the scientists take much effort to develop biofuel as it is undeniably cleaner than petroleum.
The renewable electricity can serve as a source of the direct heat production. Mainly it concerns solar heating systems and geothermal sources. Moreover, wind and solar power electricity can make a considerable contribution to energy security providing the sufficient amount of domestic energy supply. Due to their potential, these two alternative sources dynamically develop in the global energy industries. Additionally, geothermal energy coming from the internal hot steam and water reservoirs can be used for heating the buildings as well as producing electricity. The list of clean energy technologies is very broad including hydroelectric power, bioenergy, hydrogen, ocean energy and many others. Hence, their development is utterly essential for the boost of security and national energy policy.
Energy security is highly important for the successful development of the country. However, the modern world poses numerous threats that lie in the vulnerability of the country connected with the disruptions of oil supplies and instability of the global oil prices. Hence, any dependence on others makes the country insecure as far as oil is a strategic issue in the global safety. The Congress members often call for increase of domestic drilling supplies. It is a good solution that the government should employ. However, the increase of oil production cannot be the only solution for the energy security. Moreover, the country cannot rely solely on its resources thus the dependence on foreign oil remains excessive. Hence, one more path to the energy security is the reduction of demand by means of economy policy and infrastructure innovations. Furthermore, the significant opportunities appear in case of transition to clean and renewable energy technologies. All these paths together will provide the perfect way towards national energy security in the USA.
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Sandalow, D. (2011, April 5). Accelerating the transition to clean energy technologies. Energy.gov. Retrieved from http://energy.gov/articles/accelerating-transition-clean-energy-technologies
Smith, G. (2014, July 4). U.S. seen as biggest oil producer after overtaking Saudi Arabia. Bloomberg. Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-04/u-s-seen-as-biggest-oil-producer-after-overtaking-saudi.html
Zichal, H. (2012, January 18). Increasing energy security. The White House. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/01/18/increasing-energy-security