Dependence on foreign oil threatens our nation's security

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In a report done by the Truman National Security Project:

Nearly one-fifth of the oil consumed by the U.S. in 2008 (18%), was imported from countries of the Middle East and Venezuela. This total represents over one-fourth of our overall imported oil (28%) in 2008. While Venezuela is not on the State Department's "dangerous or unstable" list, it has maintained a distinctly anti-American foreign and energy policy under President Hugo Chavez. Venezuela was one of the top five oil exporters to the United States, and we imported 435 million barrels of oil from it in 2008.

Not only is oil dependence a threat to the United States, but it's also a threat to military missions. McGinn stated it clearly when he presented his concerns on oil dependence before the Public Works Committee on July, 2oo9.

Oil dependence...

Jeopardizes our military and exacts huge price tag in dollars and lives. Our inefficient use of oil adds to the already great risks assumed by our troops. It reduces combat effectiveness. It puts our troops -- more directly and more often -- in harm's way. Ensuring the flow of oil around the world stretches our military thin -- and these are the same men and women already fighting wars on two fronts.

Cripples our foreign policy and weakens U.S. international leverage. Our dependence on oil -- not just foreign oil -- reduces our leverage internationally and sometimes limits our options. I say all oil, because we simple do not have enough resources in this country to free us from the stranglehold of those who do. We find ourselves entangled with unfriendly rulers and undemocratic nations simply because we need their oil. And we cannot produce enough oil to change this dynamic -- we have to wean ourselves from it.

Entangles the United States with hostile regimes. In 2008, we sent $386 billion overseas to pay for oil -- much of it going to nations that wish us harm. This is an unprecedented and unsustainable transfer of wealth to other nations. It puts us in the untenable position of funding both sides of the conflict and directly undermines our fight against terror.

Undermines our economic stability. We are in the midst of a financial crisis, and our approach to energy is a key part of the problem. We are heavily dependent on a global petroleum market that is highly volatile.

Many Americans believe the solution to find oil dependency, other than finding an alternate form of energy, is to drill in the U.S., or buy oil from our friendly countries. But according to Jonathan Powers, the Chief Operating Officer for the Truman National Security Project, drilling more oil will not help.

"The price of oil is set globally. That means that even when we buy oil from friendly countries, we drive up demand, inflating prices that enrich unfriendly countries. For instance, despite U.S. laws against purchasing oil from Iran, the global demand for oil -- aided by U.S. consumption habits -- helps to drive up the global price of oil and line the pockets of the Iranian regime," Powers said in the report Oil Addiction: Fueling Our Enemies.

Veterans from Operations Free see that even buying oil from friendly countries will still cause a problem with problem countries in the Middle East who can hold us hostage and force our hands backwards by forcing up global oil prices.

"Even if we drilled in every untapped well in America, we simply do not have enough oil from friendly countries and under the earth at home to offset OPEC's power. By staying addicted to oil, regardless of where we purchase it, we give OPEC countries the power to cripple our economy and bring America to its knees," Powers said.

The solution McGinn presented before the Public Work Committee is to find other low carbon energy alternatives that would move the United States away from fossil fuels.

"Our nation requires diversification of energy sources and a serious commitment to renewable energy. Not simply for environmental reason -- for national security reasons," McGinn said.

McGinn calls on our nation's leader to make achieving energy security in our carbon constrained world a top priority.

"Climate change, national security, and energy dependence are an interrelated set of global challenges. Without swift and serous legislative action and investment, the U.S. will continue barreling headlong toward the catastrophic national security, economic and human suffering effects of climate change," McGinn said.

The United States spends about one billion dollars per day on foreign oil — with nearly one-fifth of oil being imported from hostile and unstable nations. According to the 2008 Foreign Trade Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau, our annual oil debt reached $386 billion — greater than our $266 billion debt with China.

Dennis McGinn, Former Battelle Corporate Officer and Retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, told the Public Works Committee in a hearing on Climate Change and National Security, that our reliance on oil is fueling our enemies and putting our troops and nation at risk. "Our inefficient use of oil adds to the already great risks assumed by our troops. It reduces combat effectiveness. It puts our troops — more directly and more often — in harms way," McGinn said.

, a coalition of veterans who are against oil dependence, states that America's oil addiction raises the cost of oil worldwide and pours funds into the pockets of foreign regimes that hold anti-American sentiments, harbor terrorists, and threaten America's national security.

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