A independência energética num mundo interdependente

CAMBRIDGE - Quando o presidente Richard Nixon proclamou, no início da década de 1970, que queria garantir a independência energética nacional, os Estados Unidos importaram um quarto do seu petróleo. No final da década, depois de um embargo do petróleo árabe e da revolução iraniana, a produção nacional estava em declínio, os norte-americanos estavam a importar metade das suas necessidades petrolíferas, com um custo de 15 vezes mais, e acreditava-se que o país estava a esgotar o gás natural.

Os choques de energia contribuíram para uma combinação letal, o crescimento económico estagnado com a inflação, e todos os presidentes dos EUA, desde Nixon, proclamaram a independência energética como uma meta a atingir. Mas poucas pessoas levaram a sério as promessas.

Hoje, os peritos em energia já não fazem troça da situação. No final desta década, segundo a Administração de Informação de Energia dos EUA, quase metade do crude que os EUA consomem será produzido internamente, enquanto 82% virá do seu lado do Atlântico. Philip Verleger, um respeitado analista de energia, argumenta que, em 2023, no 50 º aniversário do “Projecto Independência” de Nixon, os EUA terão independência energética, no sentido de que irão exportar mais energia do que importar.

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