Much has been written and said about the benefits accruing to the U.S., and other countries, from achieving “Energy Independence”. Thomas L. Friedman, the New York Times journalist and author, has been at the forefront of this concept. The consensus of experts in the energy industry is that for the U.S. to achieve total self-sufficiency in energy is an unattainable pipe dream, and even if achievable, the costs would far outweigh the benefits. However, there certainly are strong and valid economic and political reasons to lessen the dependence on foreign energy sources and to maximize the energy imported from countries that share our basic values (e.g. Canada).
The calculation of sophisticated estimates of the values for each of the effects are complex and require the skills of professionals in energy economics. The following is an outline of actions and decisions which could be taken by the government and companies in the energy industry to lessen the dependence on imported oil, and the effects.