For example, should the US be completely food independent? We’re not. We ship a lot of it overseas, and then we import more. Exploiting our abundant resources is a good thing, and it does provide us more freedom of movement, but energy independence should not be the goal, economic freedom should be.
Just ask Europe, dependent on Gazprom, with the specter ever looming of Putin pinching off the pipe. It’s a worry, but not a great one. Russia can’t eat their natural gas, just as the Arabs can’t eat their oil. Even the richest of countries hurt themselves by forgoing an opportunity to sell their resources. As Grossman points out…
…the Arab embargo was a fiasco for the Arab exporters who imposed it; the embargo became a crisis in the U.S. because of our own policies, especially price controls that prevented prices from rising to market levels. But that’s clearly not how it is remembered here. Most Americans, like Obama, see the oil “weapon” dangling over our heads, wielded no doubt in the popular imagination by the robed sheikhs of 1970’s lore, or maybe these days by masked jihadists. (Grossman)Another example: How are we punishing Iran? By refusing to buy their oil, and convincing others to boycott as well. So it goes both ways, and having our own energy development allows us to take such actions without damaging out own economy.
Free trade in a global open marketplace with a diversity of buyers and sellers is the most desirable scenario, guaranteeing open price discovery and avoiding shocks and gluts.
Rather than speaking of independence in anything, we should be talking about economic liberty, a wise use of our resources, and free and fair trade between free nations and peoples.