What 'Energy Security' Looks Like in the 21st Century

September 19, 2017

For nearly a decade, lobbyists, academics and politicians alike have hailed the shale revolution as the guarantor of U.S. energy security. U.S. President Donald Trump has even taken their expectations a step further, envisioning a world of American "energy dominance," where the country's oil exports would fortify the supplies of its closest allies. But as the severe fuel shortages that swept across Texas and Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Harvey have shown, America still heavily relies on those states' Gulf coasts to refine crude oil into gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products. True energy security, then, still seems to be just out of the United States' reach.

At least, it is based on some definitions of energy security, of which there are many. To the International Energy Agency, the term refers to "the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price." But even this simple explanation raises more questions than it answers: What is an affordable price, and what's the tradeoff between the affordability and reliability of supplies? Faced with unique challenges in the energy sector, every nation would respond to these questions in a slightly different way based on their own priorities. And as technological progress reshapes the structure of global energy markets in the 21st century, the priorities of producers and consumers around the world will doubtless change.
U.S.: Steadying Prices and Loosening Up Logistics

For its part, the United States has traditionally centered its energy policy on the goal of self-sufficiency. Driven by fears of the price shocks that OPEC's 1973 oil embargo triggered, American politicians...

Read entire article at Stratfor.com.


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