Last week, President Barack Obama delivered a highly anticipated speech on our country's energy future. His implicit message? "No, we can't."
For starters, the president wrongly defined our oil problem. Like every president who has addressed the issue since Richard Nixon, Mr. Obama focused on the source and level of our oil imports. But these are not the keys to overcoming the security and economic vulnerabilities that oil causes.
Oil is a fungible commodity with a global price. Even if the U.S. did not import a drop of oil—or if all, instead of just most, of our imports came from Canada and Mexico—we'd still be vulnerable to the vagaries of the oil market and price manipulation by OPEC. In 2008, when the world price of oil rose to $147 a barrel, truckers in Britain struck against the huge resulting diesel price. The price skyrocketed even though the United Kingdom was then producing virtually all its own oil.
(photo credit: Chris Daniel)