Imported Oil and U.S. National Security

Video: RAND Congressional Briefing Series


Keith Crane


Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program

RAND Corporation

The RAND Corporation has evaluated commonly suggested links between oil imports and U.S. national security, and assessed the economic, political, and military costs and benefits of potential policies to address threats to U.S. national security associated with imported oil. In this discussion, we highlight some of the myths associated with this topic, such as the efficacy of oil embargoes or other uses of the "oil weapon." We also evaluate policy options to mitigate the major risks to U.S. national security, primarily those to the U.S. economy, posed by imported oil. The most important policy options involve

  • mitigating disruptions in supply
  • expanding domestic sources of supply
  • reducing oil consumption.

Crane's recorded presentation was followed by a panel discussion featuring Jonathan Elkin, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; General John Sheehan (ret.), United States Marine Corps; and Frederick C. Smith, Vice President, Institute for 21st Century Energy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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