What's So Great About Energy Self-Sufficiency?
Energy self-sufficiency is the idea of the U.S. supplying all, or nearly all, of its own energy needs. The public reacts enthusiastically to the idea in polls, which is why every president since Richard Nixon has announced energy independence as a distant goal.
We seldom hear self-sufficiency lauded in connection with other essential goods, like automobiles, airplanes, food, or medicines. The U.S. currently imports about one-fourth of its timber—required for building homes and printing newspapers, books, and magazines. But we don’t hear calls for “ending our dependence on foreign timber.”
~Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute, Q&A: Energy Independence