25x’25: Securing America’s Energy Future
Despite the boom in recent years in domestic oil and gas production, America still relies on foreign sources for at least one-third of its annual oil supply. While we have cars and trucks that go further on a gallon of gas, we also have new choices at the pump renewable fuels produced right here at home.
To produce many of these fuels, we make use of the same biotechnology breakthroughs that are creating new wonder drugs to turn all kinds of crops even crop wastes and grasses into ethanol and other biofuels. Biofuels can within the next 15 years replace a quarter or more of our gasoline use, building upon a relatively new domestic industry that employs thousands and provides secure fuel supplies.
In the United States we depend on our transportation systems to move food, people, and virtually everything produced or sold within our borders. More than 97 percent of our transportation system relies on oil, consuming two-thirds of all the oil we use. This reliance on oil makes our economy vulnerable to market disruptions and price shocks and adds hundreds of billions of dollars each year to our trade deficit. It also poses a security threat because much of the world’s oil is located in unfriendly and unstable parts of the world.
Replacing oil and other fossil-fuel energy sources with sustainably produced resources reduce these risks and ensure long-term ability to meet U.S. energy needs.
- The U.S. imports nearly 57 percent of its oil, and imports could reach 70 percent by 2025, the Energy Information Administration predicts. Two-thirds of all the world’s oil is located in the Middle East (vs. just 2% in the U.S.). This dependence puts us in a very vulnerable position with countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran. America’s agriculture and forestry sectors can produce enough biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, to meet at least 25 percent of current U.S. gasoline consumption. Meeting more of our needs with renewable energy will help us break our addiction to imported oil.
- On the international level, the rapid growth of countries such as India and China are increasing demand and competition for oil. The marketplace is hard-pressed to meet this growing demand, putting geopolitical and macroeconomic stability at risk as more countries become increasingly dependent on oil in a few regions. Events such as the political upheaval in the Middle East, Russia’s disputes with nations on its western borders, insurgencies in Nigeria and instability in Venezuela pose threats to supplies, affecting world oil prices and acting as flashpoints for larger conflicts over energy. As a result, the United States is vulnerable to price volatility and supply disruptions that may result from political instability or terrorism.
- Clean, renewable energy contributes directly to our national security. Uniformed and civilian military leaders agree that biofuels, solar, wind, electric vehicles and other clean technologies have a clear strategic role to play in reducing threats to our men and women in uniform, lowering costs to the Department of Defense and freeing America from reliance on foreign fuels.
- Domestic renewable energy sources are insulated from international market uncertainty and do not rely on lengthy supply chains or unstable producing nations. Relying more on renewable energy produced domestically is a win-win situation for the United States, making the country much more energy independent. And American farmers would benefit from the increased demand for biofuels and other renewable resources.
To find out more about renewable energy resources, please visit our Why Renewables page.