Summary and Response to the Article - Essay Example

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The report focuses on foreign policy issues of the United States arising from the dependence on energy from foreign markets while putting forward several response measures to remedy the situation. Energy from oil is quite a tricky global concern and a tool used politically to…
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Article Summary The report focuses on foreign policy issues of the United s arising from the dependence on energy from foreign markets while putting forward several response measures to remedy the situation. Energy from oil is quite a tricky global concern and a tool used politically to assert influence and manipulate internal affairs of oil dependent states. U.S. is not an oil producing country hence it has to fetch the commodity from global markets. However, just like other states, U.S. is not insulated from the obvious hazards that come from excessive oil reliance. The journey towards “energy security” has proven hectic, but it is not late yet. Change is possible.
Oil dependence has its share of challenges. First, oil prices are never stable. This situation leads to economic imbalance in the dependent state, making citizens suffer from high taxation, especially when oil prices increase in the world market. Secondly, United States as a major economy has to face stiff competition from other importing countries such as India and China whose economies are growing rapidly. Worst of all, U.S. becomes vulnerable to political whims of oil producing countries especially the Middle East that have for a long time threatened U.S. security. OPEC, for instance, is notorious for signing contracts with certain consumers coupled with political affiliations that distort the market.
According to this report, U.S. can rescue itself from the hazards of oil dependence if it can reframe its foreign policies. The last decades have seen U.S. stressing on the importance of foreign markets, something that cannot solve the energy problem experienced now. If active public policies are introduced, the market will deliver smoothly on its own. U.S. cannot achieve energy security through foreign policy, but it can frame domestic policies that are in tandem with short- and long-term goals of international strategy on oil.
The Task Force looking into the issue made three recommendations for the adoption of incentives, which would gradually minimize consumption of petroleum products. First is the taxation of gasoline, with the tax revenues directed to other purposes such as funding research and development of energy technology. Second is tightening Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards. Third is the use of tradable gasoline permits to cap the levels of gasoline consumed in the country.
The above measures will facilitate energy efficient lifestyles of the citizenry, including the use of higher-efficiency vehicles, increased use of public transport, and the introduction of alternative fuels. By increasing prices of transportation fuels, people will be forced to resort to energy efficient means of transport. Future investments in energy efficient technology will be possible only if the first step is taken now. In fact, higher energy prices are already putting innovators on their toes. It is incumbent upon the United States government to support private sector innovation more so for technologies requiring advanced development efforts for commercial viability. In short, the government should spend heavily in these spheres.
Overall, the report is comprehensive and informative, pointing out not only the challenges of oil dependence, but possible ways of responding to the challenges. It all starts from an overhaul of the domestic mechanisms that lead to oil dependence. The country will then fit flexibly into the global market, having armed itself with alternative ways of dealing with the turbulent external market. Conclusively, therefore, the problem is at home, not out there. Unless the first step is taken today, the future remains bleak.
Works Cited
Council on Foreign Relations. “National Security Consequences of U.S. Oil Dependency.”
Council of Foreign Relations Press, 2006. Read More
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