This may be a surprise to many people: The United States is now the leader in oil production worldwide. But Dr. Mikhail Beznosov, a political science instructor at the University of West Georgia, says it’s not enough.
“It is still a problem,” he told the Rotary Club of Carrollton at its March 21 meeting. “The U.S. produces 12.7 million gallons a day but consumes 19.4. That’s a deficit of 6.7 million gallons a day that has to be imported.”
Beznosov said the country’s Middle East oil dependence is smaller than it used to be. Today, the U.S. gets most of its imports from Central America and Canada.
Politically, Beznosov said, the world is so dependent on cheap, uninterrupted oil that it can lead to many problems.
“The security of supply was born of the oil crisis of 1973,” he said, noting the challenges today are further exacerbated by climate change, post 911 security and interdependence.
“Globally, energy is spread unevenly, creating a significant problem,” he said. “The separation of need and supply is growing.”
To be less vulnerable, countries need to be more proactive in searching for energy alternatives, he said.
“Countries with a diverse mix of energy makes them less at risk than those relying on only one or two sources,” he said. “Analysts predict as fossil fuels become more scarce there will be resource wars.”