How Badly Does America Want Oil Independence?

It's possible, but to do so will mean dramatic changes in gov't policy, taxes, technology and lifestyles.

Published: 21-Feb-2006

President Bush's State of the Union pledge to end America's oil "addiction" and his tour of emerging energy technology centers this week have touched off a national debate on how to achieve energy independence.

"The answer is pretty simple. We will never get to energy independence while we are using oil as the major fuel," said Severin Borenstein, director of the University of California Energy Institute in Berkeley.

There are ways to break America's oil addiction, experts say, but it won't be easy. Cures include stricter conservation, higher fuel-economy standards, alternative fuels made from common crops and next-generation batteries for hybrid cars that could get more than 100 mpg.


Visits to China, India, Malaysia and Pakistan are significant because the trip spells out the Saudi Kingdom's Look East policy, representing a new reorientation in its foreign policy that was heavily tilted toward the West.

The worst two scenarios suggest a drastic decline in output to 875,000 barrels a day by the end of 2007 and to just 520,000 a day by the end of 2008.

Bush said he envisioned a future in which a plug-in hybrid car could drive 40 miles on a lithium-ion battery, then stop at a filling station for ethanol, a fuel usually made from corn, similar to HyMotion Prius pictured below.


blog comments powered by Disqus