Energy independence is frequently discussed in many contexts in America. Commentators and economists speculate on the number of jobs created, the benefit to GDP, etc. However, as one former Green Beret puts it in a recent op-ed for the Colorado-based Gazette, there is a moral case for energy independence as well. According to D. Sperry Redd, he saw the moral implications of American energy independence from a very unique standpoint:
I becameacquainted with this reality in the military where I spent the better part of 20-plus years in foreign lands defending, among other things, our access to affordable oil. I witnessed the cost in blood and treasure that we have had to pay to secure our national security interests. I found myself standing between innocent civilians and evil terrorist forces funded by savage regimes who are enriched by the very petro dollars we pay them to keep the engine of our economy running.
Sperry goes on to say that reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil would allow the country to extricate itself from entangling arrangements, and permit the United States to forgo the financial and human expense of trying to secure access to oil rich areas abroad.
Achieving energy independence does not mean sacrificing our environment, however. Sperry states:
We have developed the techniques and technology that now enable us to use our own domestic energy resources in the most efficient, clean and environmentally friendly way.
The Upper Midwest holds one of the keys necessary to achieving energy independence in the form of the Bakken oil formation. Whether or not the Midwest helps America achieve the goal of energy independence will hinge on our region’s ability to develop a modern, reliant, and efficient energy infrastructure. The economic and security incentives are there. As Mr. Sperry has seen firsthand, the moral case exists as well.