Energy Security Report Card

The American shale revolution has ushered in a "new age of abundant and cheap energy supplies" that "is redrawing the world's geopolitical landscape, weakening and potentially threatening the legitimacy of some governments while enhancing the power of others."

Thankfully, the strategic position of the United States has been boosted by the enhanced energy security provided by our shale energy resources. According to Robert Hormats, a former undersecretary at the State Department, the United States "is emerging as a big winner" in this new energy era as we are now "less vulnerable to supply disruptions overseas." Enhanced energy security "also provides added leverage in international negotiations, whether with Iran over its nuclear program or with Russia over its intentions in Ukraine."

While many Americans intuitively understand the growing benefits of enhanced energy security, the true measure of these gains can be seen in the results of an annual U.S Chamber of Commerce study conducted by its Institute for 21st Century Energy project.

The Institute for 21st Century Energy has developed a comprehensive annual report that measures American energy security from year to year. This report, known as the Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk, is a "collection of 37 different energy metrics such as energy prices, price volatility, net energy imports, energy expenditures, and energy efficiency."

According to this index, last year America’s energy security risk fell to "its lowest level since 2004." This score is a result of many factors, including "rapidly expanding oil and natural gas output" that "drove large improvements in metrics related to energy expenditures, price volatility, and imports."

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy explained that "given continued geopolitical uncertainty, rising U.S. oil and gas output couldn’t come at a better time, and has helped insulate our nation from instability."

The report is bullish on America’s energy future, noting that there are many "good reasons to be optimistic about growing U.S. oil and natural gas production." However, the report advises that "realizing America’s full potential is not a foregone conclusion."

This is a timely warning considering that we often lose sight of the immeasurable benefits to our national security that come from an improved energy security situation. It is up to us to make sure that our fellow citizens and our elected officials understand and fight for American energy security!

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