US can be self-sufficient without Russia


Northern Star file photo

An American flag at the Barsema Alumni and Visitor’s Center on Nov. 3.

By Angelina Padilla-Tompkins, Opinion Editor

The past month has been unpredictable with everyone’s eyes glued to the news to see what Russia will do next and what the rest of the world is going to do about it. 

Our first instinct was to throw sanction after sanction at Russia. One of the heaviest so far is the choice to stop all oil trade with them. This did not come without risk to our own country as we have seen with the skyrocketing gas prices, but it’s better to pay more in gas than to do business with Russia right now.  

One question that has been asked since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war is whether America can be self-sufficient. The simple answer is yes. 

International relations professor Ches Thurber believes it is possible for America to be self-sufficient without Russia, but it would take a collective effort with our allies. 

“The United States is able to produce a lot of oil both domestically now, as well as other regions of the world which it most directly imports,” Thurber said.  

The U.S. and its allies can unite together to support one another through the long process of becoming self-sustaining. 

Contrary to popular belief, Russia is number three for oil production next to the United States and Saudi Arabia. However,  Russia is the largest country in exporting oil, according to the world economic forum. 

Despite Russia exporting the most oil over other countries, the United States gets just over 50% of its imported oil from Canada and only 8% from Russia, as stated by the U.S energy information administration.  

For America to become independent from Russia, we only need to make up for roughly 10% of our oil which is possible if we disperse more of our domestic resources throughout our homeland.

One argument being made is the negative effect relying on fossil fuels has on global warming, but there are long-term solutions to this dilemma. Thurber sees the strong sanctions we have imposed on Russia as an opportunity to also, “decrease the reliance on not only Russian oil and natural gas but also fossil fuels.,” However, he admits the challenge to this is it’s not an immediate solution to our current struggle with skyrocketing gas prices at the pump. 

“You can’t just switch to alternative energies,” Thurber said, “but it would be a real missed opportunity to not simply replace Russian oil and gas with other oil and gas, but to find other sustainable sources of energy.” 

There are many factors that support the possibility that America can be self-sufficient without Russia, so we should take this opportunity to improve within our borders too.