Energy Security Studies and Legislative Proposals
A healthy debate has arisen in the United States , concerning the state of its energy security and what can be done to improve our Nation's status in this regard. Recent, tightness of energy supplies has resulted in significant energy price increases and provided an indicator of declining U.S. energy security. Following oil price increases due to reduced Venezuelan production in 2003, the Chinese oil demand surprise of 2004, and hurricane exacerbated price increases of 2005, the United States has experienced increases in overall energy costs. Cost increases have not been constrained to liquid fuels and the transportation sector, as tight natural gas supplies and fears of shortages have led to dramatic price spikes impacting the U.S. electricity industry.
In several important respects the Nation is less well positioned to respond proactively today with near-term, domestic energy alternatives, than it was during the energy crisis period of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Additionally today's global energy market is marked by three fundamental differences from this prior crisis period, which adversely impact security of supply for all countries: global terrorism aimed, in part, at energy infrastructure; dramatically reduced global excess production capacity; and substantial growth in competing energy demand from large developing countries of the world.
The concerns raised by these recent events have resulted in publication of a number of studies and proposals for legislative action. A common thread, focusing on the future availability of liquid fuels, runs through these reports and Congressional actions. However, a wide range of opinion about what the future holds and what action might become necessary is being expressed.
To some, limits to near-term domestic energy expansion possibilities and new, adverse global energy market issues, present an ominous outlook for the Nation's ability to maintain energy security. To others, the future is brighter with new sources of supply expected to become available when they will be needed.
Please use the links provided below to explore a full range of studies and legislative proposals on this topic. Additional documents will be added to this page soon.
- Peaking of World Oil Production: Recent Forecasts [PDF-859KB] (Feb 2007): The purpose of this report is to summarize forecasts for the peaking of world oil production with emphasis on those forecasts that have been publicly noted since early 2005.
- Economic Impacts of U.S. Liquid Fuel Mitigation Options [PDF-1308KB] (July 2006), NETL: The purpose of this study was to assess the economic implications of simultaneously initiating major crash programs, on both the supply and demand sides of the economy, aimed at rapid reduction of U.S. dependence on imported oil.
- Oil Shale Development in the United States, Prospects and Policy Issues (2005), RAND Corporation: This report presents an updated assessment of the viability of developing oil shale resources in the United States and related policy issues. The report describes the oil shale resources in the western United States; the suitability, cost, and performance of available technologies for developing the richest of those resources; and the key energy, environmental, land-use, and socioeconomic policy issues that need to be addressed by government decisionmakers in the near future.
Oil Markets And Energy Security Articles:
- Have we run out of oil yet? Oil peaking analysis from an optimist's perspective [PDF-337KB] (Dec 2005), David L. Greene, Janet L. Hopson, and Jia Li: This study addresses several questions concerning the peaking of conventional oil production from an optimist's perspective. Is the oil peak imminent? What is the range of uncertainty? What are the key determining factors? Will a transition to unconventional oil undermine or strengthen OPEC's influence over world oil markets.
Contact: Charles Drummond 412-386-4889