Wise words on energy independence

…if we increased fuel economy in modest ways, we could stop buying oil from the Persian Gulf. But we wouldn’t stop buying oil from the Persian Gulf. We might even buy a *greater* percentage from there if we were more efficient – because if we consumed less oil, then the law of supply and demand should drive oil prices *down*, which in turn would mean a greater market share for the lowest-cost producer, which is Saudi Arabia. This is exactly what happened from the mid-1980s through the early 2000s: a collapse in oil prices led to greater demand on Persian Gulf oil specifically as more costly sources of supply stopped producing.

That’s from Gideonsblog. I don’t agree with the entire post, but it does get at the idea that the much-vaunted goal of “energy independence” needs to be dissected carefully. It is low prices — present and future — we care about, not energy independence per se.


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