I read that the United States is producing as much oil as it did in 1992. By 2018, we're on track to produce as much oil as we did at our previous peak in the early 1970s. We're also learning to squeeze a lot more GDP out of a barrel oil than we did twenty or forty years ago, so our demand is going down. That means we can kiss the Middle East goodbye and stop subsidizing oil with trillions of dollars of military spending, right?
[Energy expert Michael] Levi warns against overestimating the political and economic benefits of lower U.S. imports, however. Because the oil market is global, a supply disruption in the Middle East would send prices higher everywhere — including for U.S. consumers — even if the U.S. imports no oil from the Middle East. For that reason, the U.S. will still need to help maintain stability in the region ["Growth in US, Canadian oil production reducing imports, pushing Middle Eastern oil to Asia," AP via Fox News, 2013.05.14].
Sometimes I wonder if there's just no winning against Big Oil. They to take our land and water for pipelines and fracking, promising that their projects will bring us energy independence. But then as we make concrete steps toward that independence (still slurping, mind you, their addictive, poisonous potions), we still have to send our kids to fight and die for Middle East oil, for the sake of the stability of the global petro-economy.
So what's easier: disengaging completely from fossil fuels, or remaining the global corporations' volunteer security force?