Local or National Issue

In this essay, an attempt will be made to assess the important issue: ‘America’s dependence on foreign oil’.  In the context of steeply rising oil prices, it is important that the American government devises strategy to reduce its dependence on foreign oil.

The USA is one of most developed countries in the world and it has been using large amount of oil resources. There has been increase in the demand for oil from the American citizens. Oil is essential for the economic progress of any nation in the modern world. However, America is not self-sufficient in the oil production. This would mean that it needs to import huge quantity of oil from the foreign countries particularly the Islamic countries in the Middle East. At the same time the American president has declared a ‘war on terror’ particularly on the Islamic terrorists.

The Islamic terrorists have not taken this declaration lightly and this is proved by their continued attack on the American embassies and people all over the world. The Islamic countries possess huge reserves of oil. The lack of huge oil reserve is the main limitation of the American economy. This limitation has been utilized by the anti American terrorist groups.  The American government has been importing huge amount of oil from the foreign countries and in the process it has been paying huge amount of dollars to the Islamic countries. One can suggest that this dependence of America on foreign oil has encouraged the Islamic terrorist activities as they obtain the American dollars directly or indirectly through the sale of oil to America.

This would imply that the American government has been paying to the terrorist groups to indulge in anti-American activities. For example, it is well known that Osama bin Laden obtained financial support from contributions from the Islamic nations. This has limited the ability of the American government to fight against terrorism. The American dependence on foreign oil also has affected the American economy particularly due to the great increase in the price of oil.

The oil producing nations enjoy monopoly over the oil production and sale. They can control the oil price and its supply. This has reduced the autonomy of America in world politics. The American government needs to avoid the repetition of the terrorist attacks on the American nation. For this, Americans need to enjoy energy self-sufficiency. (Gal, 2004)

The government and the people can contribute to the oil self-sufficiency by reducing oil consumption. The government needs to encourage the scientists to develop alternative energy resources. For example, recently the scientists have found that oil can be replaced by energy resources such as electricity, ethanol, bio-diesel, hydrogen fuel and such other alternative fuels. Already, a few cars which can use alternative fuels have been produced by the American car manufacturers.

The government needs to encourage the consumers to use such alternative fuels in their cars in order to improve the financial strength of the country. This would also reduce the financial strength of the Islamic terrorist organizations as they mostly depend on the American dollars in the form of oil exports to America. The government should introduce legislations to provide incentive to alternative fuel producers and consumers so that in all the provinces of the USA people would become aware of the need to save precious American dollar in order to fight the war against terror.

By introducing such alternative fuels in the cars, it is possible to save huge amount of dollars which otherwise would have been spent for the purpose of purchasing oil from the foreign countries. Alternative fuel production plants also would lead to improved economic condition of America. This shows that the American government needs to establish oil independence.


Luft, Gal. (October 2004). Ending America’s Dependence on Middle East Oil. The Middle East

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