PSC 1003 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Insular Area, Jstor, Cengage Learning
Course CodePSC 1003
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The benefits of free trade in energy are great enough, that the government intervention in
the energy market should be reduced.
Proponents of energy independence in the United States believe that there may be many
benefits. These may include, “avoiding dangerous disruptions in supply, ease entanglements in
the Middle East, force corrupt petrostates to reform, and dry up terrorist funds”(Deutch). While
these are appealing benefits, all outcomes of energy independence must be considered. Those
who want energy independence find that the United States could seek this through several means
such as: limiting exports, increasing conservation of these resources, and/or the use of coal or
renewable energy sources to produce electricity.”
First, this level of energy independence would likely be difficult, if not impossible to
achieve in the United States. Even those who say it is not impossible point out that it will likely
require oil prices to rise from current levels in order for this idea to work (Rapier).
In addition, the United States dependency on energy sources from other countries is so
large already. The “amount of petroleum imported by US and other countries is so enormous,
operating without it would be impossible for any advanced industrialized country”(Deutch). Not
only does the US require a great amount of these resources, but the demand is expected to
increase even more in the years to come. This amount demanded by the US would not be
adequately satisfied if energy independence were to happen (Littlefield).
Furthermore, it would be economically irresponsible at this time to become energy
independent, as it ignores a the idea of comparative advantage, and would thus be harmful to the
American consumer. Prices in fact, would not become lower if we imported less oil from other
countries. Based on worldwide supply and demand, prices would not become lower for
Americans.. since private companies cannot sell for one penny less than the foreign market says
(Deutch). In addition, this independence would ignore the free trade principles of comparative
advantage, in which countries produce products that they are the most efficient at doing
(Shimko). Comparative advantage allows for the US consumer to pay lower prices than if the US
were energy independent.
Therefore, the benefits of free trade are greater than the benefits of energy independence,
and therefore the government should not intervene at this time.
Deutch, Philip J. “Energy Independence.” Foreign Policy, no. 151, 2005, pp. 20–25. JSTOR,
Littlefield, S. R. (2013). Security, independence, and sustainability: Imprecise language and the
manipulation of energy policy in the United States. Energy Policy, 52, 779-788.
Rapier, Robert. "Is U.S. Energy Independence In Sight?" Forbes. November 14, 2017. Accessed
November 01, 2018. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2017/11/14/is-u-s-energy-
Shimko, K. L. (2016). International relations: Perspectives, controversies and readings. Boston:
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