Decisions about energy policy must consider the impacts and tradeoffs to both energy security and climate change. This analysis assesses a range of energy choices currently under consideration, and illustrates how well each option addresses each of these challenges
Energy security and climate change are priority issues for energy policymakers. Concerns about energy security in the United States are not new. The current environment of high prices and uncertain supply is different from earlier crises, however, due to the widespread recognition that climate change needs urgent attention and that conventional global oil production may soon peak. There is also concern in the United States that some post-9/11 oil revenues are fueling global instability. U.S. policymakers are promoting a variety of measures to address at least one of the challenges of energy security and climate change. These challenges are linked, however, and there are often unintended consequences when one is addressed without fully considering impacts on the other.
This policy brief presents the WRI “bubble chart,” developed to help inform the debate over the choices at hand. A complete description of the issues discussed here is available at http://www.wri.org/usenergyoptions.