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Agree In Part

Reader comment on item: Symposium: The Geopolitics of U.S. Energy Independence

Submitted by Kenneth Hicks (United States), Oct 31, 2013 at 18:23

An energy independent U.S. (although it wouldn't come strictly from increased drilling, but more efficient use and investment in renewable energy) would be free to act in its own best interests. A major part of those interests is not having to defend the world anymore. US defense spending is completely out of line with the rest of the world with much of it based on treaties made during the Cold War. The Soviet Union doesn't exist anymore. Indeed, if more nations had to shoulder all of their own defense costs the risk of war could drop as defense expenditures rise.

Even NATO needs to be rethought. Russia simply is not the threat the Soviet Union was. There is an enormous buffer zone and with more eastern nations joining NATO, the prospects of a Russian invasion are highly unlikely. The US doesn't need to keep so many ground troops in Europe, perhaps limiting itself to air cover, transport, technology and administration.

However, I don't see OPEC nations' income dwindling. As oil continues to become more scarce, prices will continue to rise and all nations will continue to buy their products. Europe may buy more from Russia, but they will also buy from OPEC. The Gulf States' ability to influence world prices will still remain extremely strong.

Rather than trying to counter such measures, US oil companies could very well join in, using a very common reasoning: they are only pricing to remain competitive; that they are pricing for what the market can bear. And Germany may cozy up to Russia, but like other Eastern and Southern European states, the relationship will be producer and consumer.


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