Energy crisis: What if we turned off the foreign oil tap?

What would happen in the Middle East if we cut our dependence on foreign oil?

There’s news about the price of gas at the pump, and it’s all bad: Prices are up again. Nine of ten Americans said that they were hearing mostly bad news about gas prices, according to the Pew Research Center. This is an area where Republicans, Democrats, and Independents agree. Of course, bad news at the pumps is no surprise to anyone who drives and has to fill the tank. Prices have risen every week for the last nine weeks.

In a speech last week, Obama repeated an often-heard refrain: We need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We have to invest in renewable energy, become more efficient, and (at least for a while) increase domestic drilling. Clean energy is not “science fiction,” Obama said.

Cutting dependence on foreign oil is a dilemma. It’s desirable for many reasons, but it could also create new instabilities in the world. A huge and permanent reduction in consumption of foreign oil would diminish the the economic future of oil-producing nations. They depend on oil revenues as much as the oil-consuming nations depend on a supply of fuel. A permanent drop in world demand could spark political instability and turmoil in oil-producing nations. But what do you think?

What if gas prices continue to rise and never come back down?

Would it compel us to cut our dependence on foreign oil?

And is reducing our dependence on foreign oil a good idea?

Please, tell us what you think! Comment below.

(Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.)

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