Over a Barrel: The Costs of U.S. Foreign Oil Dependence

John S. Duffield, Author . Stanford Univ. $27.95 (290p) ISBN 978-0-8047-5499-6

Most in the U.S. would agree that American dependence on foreign oil, especially from countries hostile to the U.S. government, is an undesirable situation. Duffield (Power Rules: The Evolution of NATO's Conventional Force Posture ), a political science professor at Georgia State University, focuses on documenting the problems with this dependence and how to fix them. Making the obvious but often overlooked point that depending on imported oil carries more than economic consequences at the gas pump and the home furnace, Duffield notes the costs to American consumers, such as skyrocketing heating bills from government foreign policy and military efforts to protect unreliable overseas supplies. So far, those policy responses have increased rather than decreased costs. For example, policy makers have neglected opportunities to reduce oil use, instead favoring protection of existing international sources (especially in Saudi Arabia) and finding new ones. Although Duffield is dubious about American intervention overseas, he does endorse American hegemony as a route to changing oil-related attitudes and policies worldwide. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/24/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
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