High oil prices in 2004 reminded everyone of growing U.S. dependence on the rest of the world for a critical input into its economy. Lovins and his colleagues here outline concrete proposals for reducing U.S. oil imports from a projected 20 million barrels a day by 2025 to 5 million or less: by encouraging more efficient use of oil and by substituting biofuels and wasted natural gas for oil (which would reduce dependence on oil even further in subsequent years). Financed partly by the Defense Department and the Office of Naval Research, this fact-filled study draws on existing technology and is attentive to economic onsiderations. Part technology handbook, part cool-headed advocacy, it argues that a dramatic reduction in oil dependency is both possible and desirable during the next two decades, at economic savings compared with business as usual. Much of the change will occur thanks to normal competitive pressures, but it can be accelerated by well-targeted public leadership, at the state as well as federal level, and by modest incentives and regulatory changes (such as introducing pay-at-the-pump basic compulsory liability insurance).
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