Forget Cheap Oil; the U.S. Needs Energy Independence.

The World May Depend on It: The coyotes are clear about their priorities. Energy independence is more important than cheap oil. Our dependence on fossil fuels, especially the crude oil required to make gasoline, is all too real. And it makes us vulnerable to disruptions, deliberately caused or not. It makes us vulnerable to blackmail by bad actors on the world stage. It is our achilles heel. We need to address the problem. Here's how:

First, we must become clear as a nation that our goal is energy independence, not cheap gasoline. (Cheap gasoline, to a great extent, is making us more dependent and more vulnerable.) To be energy independent, we must be willing to make some changes in our lifestyle. Doing so will involve some sacrifice, but it will not in the long run mean a a lower quality a life. (In fact, if we don't make some changes, our nation might cease to exist, which is a lousy quality of life, indeed.)

Second, we must forget partisan ideologies and use an agressive strategy that combines conservation with aggressive domestic production of all types of energy.

Conservation is both a short-term and long-term fix. In a crunch, always accompanied by price pressure, Americans have proven they can reduce their use of energy over the short-term by changing habits and over the medium-term by improving the energy efficiency of their transportation, buildings, and appliances. Conservation can also be created and increased by government pressure; for example, by increasing MPG standards on automobile fleets, reducing speed limits, and changing zoning laws and code requirements to encourage more walkable environments and more efficient use of energy in buildings.

Domestic Production of energy needs to be increased. All types of energy. Fossil fuels, sustainable energy (wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, biofuels), even nuclear (maybe).

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