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.

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