Study Details How U.S. Can Lessen
Foreign Oil Dependency
By taking the right measures, the United States could end its dependence on oil imported from the Middle East by 2025, says a recent study by a team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Daniel M. Kammen and researchers at UC-Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) have released “Towards Energy Independence in 2025,” a study that outlines short- and long-term steps that, if implemented by the nation’s transportation and power industries, could lessen oil imports by more than 30 percent within 20 years. These measures could result in daily oil use savings of more than 22 percent, which is equivalent to the 6.3 million barrels a day the United States currently imports from the Persian Gulf region.
With transportation being responsible for 70 percent of U.S. oil consumption, the study recommends increasing fuel economy standards and expanding the use of biofuels. It also suggests making a major push to produce plug-in hybrid vehicles that can run on gasoline and generally expanding the use of hybrid vehicles.
Kammen says these near-term technologies and policies could make possible even larger oil use savings than the study predicts. The RAEL study was funded by a grant from Americans for Energy Independence (AEI), a non-profit group that promotes awareness of and solutions to U.S. dependence on imported oil.
“We have been negligent in investing in energy research and development, as well as in ways to reward clean, domestic sources of power production,” Kammen says. “This study, and the vision of Americans for Energy Independence, explores how we can make the nation more environmentally sound and geopolitically secure.”
AEI plans to present the study to all members of Congress and will use it to spearhead its efforts. The study is available online at www.ei2025.org.
“We spend over $240 billion a year on foreign oil. Oil price and availability dictate the value of our nation’s stock markets and our retirement portfolios,” says Chris Wolfe, the president of Americans for Energy Independence. “Every time we fill up our cars, we transfer a greater part of our personal and national wealth to questionable governments. It’s time for a change and this study shows how to start.”
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