This falls in the good news/bad news department. Ob the bright side, the less-developed world has made some extraordinary strides in energy production in the last 15 years. That's great news, because a robust energy supply is essential for health and wealth. And it's in the US interest for the rest of the world to become wealthy like us.
The bad news is, the US is falling far behind. And that's bad because... well, because a robust energy supply is essential for health and wealth:
At the end of the first Gulf War in 1991, 55 percent of the 20 largest companies in the energy industry by market capitalization were American, and 45 percent were European, according to the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. study.
But in 2007, 35 percent of the 20 largest energy companies are from BRIC countries, about 35 percent are European, and about 30 percent are American, the study said.
"The U.S. is now lagging with the smallest percentage number of energy companies worldwide," Ling said.
"If you think about the global resource industry typically being a leader in terms of global trends, we're starting to see this replicated in the mining industry, where 20 percent of the top 20 companies are now from BRIC countries," he said. "We believe this sort of pattern will be repeated industry by industry."
It's increasingly clear that we as a nation are not devoting sufficient attention to the prism of national security as regards our future energy needs. As long as they key players in the energy sector were the US, Canada, UK, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and other nations that have generally been friendly to US interests, we could afford to ignore that dimension.
Now however, with nations such as Russia, Venezuela, China, India, Iran, and others playing a more important role -- both as producers and large consumers -- we must consider how their interests and actions affect ours. To date Congress has devoted scant attention to this issue.