Is US energy independence just a pipe dream?

Energy security experts Kevin Massy and Govinda Avasarala write that the Republican Party's long-vaunted goal of domestic energy independence may be little more than a pipe dream in economic terms.

In a lengthy and detailed piece written for CNN Massy, an associate director for the Brooking Institution's Energy Security Initiative, and Avasarala, a senior research assistant with the Energy Security Initiative, say that although US energy independence is technically feasible it is far from a desirable outcome for economic reasons.

In order to achieve true energy independence Americans would have to insulate themselves from global markets by forgoing all overseas oil trade, which would have a distorting effect upon the economics of domestic oil production and cause a ". . . potential net cost to the overall economy."

"It would come at a very high price…In a truly 'energy independent' scenario, in which imports are cut off, U.S. consumers would have to pay prices high enough to justify domestic production to cover all domestic demand – prices likely to be far higher than those in the global market," writes the authors of the study.

Massy and Avasarala's piece is published just a day after the Republican Party released its 2012 Party Platform reaffirming a commitment to domestic energy independence and the development of local resource reserves.

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