It's kind of a libertarian dream: everything we'll ever need we can produce ourselves. We never need to be dependent on other nations that may or may not like us, or play the game the way we play it. But it's, excuse me, bull. Take energy... take oil.
In truth, it would be virtually impossible for any country to be totally independent where energy is concerned. Not only would it have to produce all its own oil; it would also have to be independent.
Like sugar, wheat, gold and other commodities, oil is also bought and sold on a global market. All the oil produced in the world becomes part of the global oil supply; all the oil used comes out of that supply. The global oil price depends on the supply/demand relation, and the price is essentially the same for all countries.
Energy analyst Amy Jaffe likens players in the global oil market to swimmers in a swimming pool.
"If you're in the deep end or the shallow end and somebody takes water out of the pool, it affects both swimmers equally," Jaffe says. "[It's the] same thing if we start pouring water in. You're not pouring the water into just the deep end or just the shallow end." ...Morning Edition, NPR
This reminds me of the Keystone Pipeline. Republicans love it. They think it brings us energy and jobs. Republicans who own land that's been seized by the pipeline builders don't love it as much, of course. Meanwhile, Democrats understand that the pipeline doesn't provide us with energy, just grief. The energy goes from the Houston ship channel to... Asia and beyond. Studies at Cornell have also shown that claims that the pipeline is a job creator is also a myth.
As for Americans being "stuck" in what Amy Jaffe describes as a swimming pool, along with the rest of the world, that's as good a metaphor for our predicament as a planet as any I've seen. We are "stuck" on the same planet with the rest of its inhabitants. Like it or not, we have to share its limited resources. Everything we do, if we're intelligent, should reflect our understanding of that home truth. It's not partisan, it's true: the left is far more aware of and intelligent about that reality than Republicans.