Myths of the Oil Boom - American National Security in a Global Energy Market

Author(s)                 Steve A. Yetiv
Publisher Oxford University Press
Date 2015
Pages 272
Format pdf
Size 1.6 Mb

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   This book addresses a farrago of notions about oil security in general and American oil security in particular that are overly optimistic or under-appreciated, and, in so doing, helps illuminate oil security broadly. Oil security can be defined in various ways, but I define it as having three aspects. The first is about achieving reasonable oil prices, which are shaped by numerous economic, political, and security factors. We can all debate what the term "reasonable oil prices" really means, but large spikes in oil prices or oil shocks that cause major economic dislocation are problematic. In fact, such disruptions in oil supplies are linked to most of America's economic recessions, beginning with the 1973 Arab oil embargo. The second, related aspect of oil security is about assuring that oil supplies are not easily subject to severe oil disruptions from global events or the deliberate manipulation of energy supplies for power goals. This includes, of course, the free flow of oil, most prominently from the Middle East, which is viewed as a vital US and global security goal; it also includes the flow of oil from actors such as Russia, which has periodically cut off its oil and natural gas exports to try to influence European politics. This threat to oil security is sometimes referred to as geopolitics. Geopolitics is certainly related to oil prices, in that unreliable oil supplies drive prices higher, but oil prices also rise and fall for reasons other than geopolitics...

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