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Journey to Energy Independence

Independence means —
    “Freedom from control: freedom from dependence on or control by another person, organization, or state”
Microsoft Encarta Dictionary

“The most direct way to reduce our dependency on foreign oil is to simply use less of it, starting with the cars and trucks we drive. Nearly 70 percent of our oil use is for transportation, and more than 65 percent of that amount is for personal vehicles... energy independence means changing how we power our cars and trucks from foreign oil to new American-made fuels and batteries.”

— Nobel physicist Steven Chu, former U.S. Secretary of Energy

From an economic point of view, Energy Independence means energy security (supply and price stability); an objective that can be achieved through the development of alternative transportation fuels and multi-fuel vehicles (including electric), which would give consumers an opportunity to choose a non-petroleum fuel at the pump.

Today, over 80 percent of world petroleum reserves are state-owned — controlled by countries that have the power to manipulate supply and price with impunity — this fact goes directly to the heart of energy security.

Energy Independence is a powerful verbal icon, originally conceived and defined in the context of the 1973 Arab oil embargo.

The phrase “Energy Independence” is a verbal icon embodying an idea that resonates with the character of America—it is a call for return to economic balance and protection from vulnerability created by over-dependence on petroleum to fuel our cars, trucks and airplanes.

Seventy percent of all oil consumed in the USA is used for transportation fuel—gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

U.S. Electric Utility Companies responded to the threat of the 1973 Arab oil embargo by replacing petroleum fuel oil with USA coal, nuclear energy and natural gas to power their generators. The USA no longer depends on petroleum to generate electricity for the power grid.

The U.S. Automobile industry must do today what the U.S. Electric Utility industry did 40 years ago — Kick the oil habit!

American Energy Independence will be achieved when American drivers have the choice to fill their cars and trucks with non-petroleum fuels. Today, cars and trucks use gasoline and diesel made from petroleum. Technology exists today that can enable all cars and trucks to run on USA produced synthetic fuels (alcohol or diesel), natural gas, biofuels, and electricity.

American Energy Independence will lead to global energy independence

The United States is a world leader. The nations of the world look to the United States for leadership. American Energy Independence is about world leadership.

A few economists and advocates of global free trade have voiced a narrow view of energy independence, claiming that it will mean a retreat from global economic interdependence, a direction that would disrupt the global free market and lead America toward economic and political isolation. Their view is not true.

The United States does not need zero foreign oil imports to be energy independent. There is no reason to end oil imports from Canada and Mexico. Energy independence is not about protectionism.

Energy independence does not mean closed borders or economic isolation. Energy independence will be achieved by producing abundant and affordable alternative transportation fuels through advanced technology that will enable all countries to do the same. American Energy Independence will lead to global energy independence.

The world consumes over 85 million barrels of oil every day (over 30 billion barrels per year). The USA alone consumes over 20 million barrels per day (over 7 billion barrels per year). At $100 per barrel, global petroleum revenue exceeds three trillion dollars per year.  

Development of alternative fuels on a scale large enough to free the global economy from dependence on oil, as the world's primary source of transportaion fuel, will create a seismic shift within the economic foundation of the world.

American Energy Independence will create hundreds of billions of dollars in new wealth resulting in new jobs and economic stimulus not seen since the World War II civilian work force mobilized behind the war effort.

American Energy Independence will be achieved when all cars, trucks and buses on U.S. highways — boats, ships and barges on U.S. waterways — aircraft flying U.S. airways — trains on U.S. railways — and off-road recreational, construction and farm vehicles, are powered by transportation fuels made in the USA from non-petroleum U.S. resources.

Reference links:
1973 oil embargo
Total World oil consumption
U.S. Energy Information Administration
OPEC Oil Export Revenues — U.S. EIA Fact Sheet

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Jay Hakes
“This book and its message are long ov erdue.”
—Former President Jimmy Carter
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