Energy Security in the US and in California


Why is the US in an energy crisis?


  • It consumed 21% of all global primary energy supplies and 23% of the worlds oil
  • The average American consumes 100 times more electrcity than those living in the poorest regions of the world

Reliance on imports

  • Today the US rely on over 70% for its energy on oil and gas imported from other countries
  • The 9/11 attacks heightened USA's fear of energy security and the power the Middle East had with oil reserves
  • President Bush once said "America needs to end its dependancy on oil. When you're hooked on oil from the Middle East, it means you've got an economic security issue and a national security issue".


  • The price of a barrel of oil has risen from below $20 in the '90s to over $150 currently
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Energy Security in California

Reasons for the Californian blackouts

  • The US energy market is completely privatised, so investors are unwilling to imporve the energy infrastructure in the area as they might not maximise their profits - so the infrastructure could not meet the high demand
  • The weather was also an issue, the extension of La Nina years means the droughts are longer and more harsh, HEP sources were unable to full fill their predicted amount
  • Insufficient generating capacity 
  • Lmimted capcity of power lines to all areas
  • The deregulation of the power industry since the '90s, out of state companies bought up the energy sources and neglected them
  • Also comapnies are trying to manipulate the market through "megawatt laundering" - changing the source of the energy to charge more
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California moves on

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger began to lead to the way in efforts to conserve energy, and decleared in 2010 that 20% of its energy must come from renewable sources
  • He wants California to become the worlds first low-carbon standard for transportation fuels
  • He has also refused the use of oil from tar sand (frontier hydrocarbons) as they are considered dirtier than conventional oil
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