Insight from Washington: US energy conservation gets lost in the drive for oil abundance

US energy abundance underpinned the Trump administration’s case for rolling back federal vehicle fuel economy standards, a policy the government aims to adopt by March. The US is producing enough oil “to satisfy nearly all of its energy needs and is projected to continue to do so,” the administration argued in the proposal that would freeze fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks at the 2020 target of 43.7 miles per gallon. Booming domestic output has “added new stable supply to the global oil market and reduced the urgency of the US to conserve energy,” it said. However, this newly abundant supply has not shielded US drivers from global price risks, as recent volatility has shown. And the US has not become less exposed to global market forces as it pumps more crude and exports it around the world. “The idea that the imperative on conservation is gone because you have abundance is just exceedingly short-sighted and not strategic,” said Sarah Ladislaw, director of the Center for Strategic & International Studies’ energy and national security program. “That’s where people really take issue with an articulation of that position, because it seems to fundamentally misunderstand the history of oil markets,” she… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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