What does it mean to be Energy Independent?
America currently produces about 40% of the oil it consumes, but domestic oil production has been in decline for decades and the U.S. is increasingly looking to foreign sources to ensure our access to petroleum.1
And although the U.S. does have fossil fuel deposits in the form of coal and natural gas, these resources are finite and domestic supplies could shrink even further depending on future environmental regulations. Failure to account and plan for this is a serious risk that our country needs to consider, and is perhaps the biggest reason for us to transition to more clean energy sources.
How do we Ensure America’s Energy Security?
Fortunately, alternative renewable sources of energy like solar and wind can go a long way in making America energy independent. Gas and utility prices continue to trend up and economists don’t see any change, as access to conventional fuels becomes more difficult and costly. However, as these prices continue to rise, the price of solar and wind power continues to fall as soft and hard costs both decrease with improvements in technologies and processes.
One good thing about renewable resources is that they can’t be outsourced and don’t become depleted from large-scale usage. And large-scale usage of renewable energy could lead to more jobs, cleaner air, and less dependence on traditional sources.
Ensuring the U.S’s energy security presents a huge economic opportunity as well. According to a study by Mark Jacobson from Stanford University and Mark Delucchi from UC Davis, the cost of transitioning to a 100% clean energy economy is potentially a $100 trillion opportunity.
Gaining energy independence also means empowering people to prosper. This can be accomplished by granting more people than ever, access to efficient, clean energy while democratizing energy production. That way, electricity, and the profits that go with it, can go from the hands of a select few into the 100% clean energy homes of many.
- NPR.org; Flintoff, Corey