interview > greene > greene 19
Greene 19 (1:58)
Topic(s): Foreign Oil / Government
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The people who say that the United States can't
become oil independent are using the wrong definition of independence.
They're saying independence means we have to use no oil at all or
independence means we have to import no oil at all. Both of those definitions
are nonsense; we can become oil independent by using less oil, we don't
have to use no oil. My own estimates are that if we would increase the supply,
the domestic supply of energy for transportation by about 30% and decrease over
future consumption levels, decrease our petroleum use by about 30%, that would
And my definition of independence is to get ourselves to
a position where the cost of oil dependence to us—the transfer of wealth, the
impacts on our economy- are sufficiently small that we really don't have
to pay serious attention to them; we don't have to worry about them. My
estimate— my guess is that that would be reducing those costs to about
one percent of GDP. That's probably too complicated for people to
understand. But we can get those costs down to a very small level and when we
get them down to a very small level, about the level they were in the late
1980's and early 1990's, then we won't have to worry about
oil dependence any more.
Let me put it this way also: It's— my definition
of independence is the dictionary definition of independence, which means that
you're not subject to the control of others. You know, you're not
subject to controlling influence of other people. In this case, we would like
to get ourselves free of controlling influence from oil producers. And we can
do that by reducing the quantity of oil we consume and by increasing the supply
of energy from other sources to transportation.