U.S. Chamber's 2015 Energy Security Risk Index Shows Continued Improvements

Press Release
January 6, 2016

Homegrown Energy Production and Oil Exports Help Reduce Risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The 2015 edition of the Annual Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk published by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy demonstrates that growth in domestic energy production has had material benefits to U.S. energy security.

According to the Index, energy security risk in 2014 fell for the third year in a row, to 82.0. The decline was driven by the oil and gas sector, which saw risk reduced due to decreasing imports and less price volatility. U.S. crude oil production rose 17 percent in 2014. The Index measures 37 different metrics broken into four areas that identify the major risk to U.S. energy security.

“More homegrown energy production reduces our overall risk and puts downward pressure on costs,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy. “It is now possible to foresee a world in which America produces more energy than we consume. Now that the ban on crude oil exports has been lifted, we will be in a position to see economic growth and continued reduction in our energy security risk—if the federal government resists the temptation to regulate hydraulic fracturing.”

“While the news has been very good over the last several years, there are still some risk factors that remain between now and 2040,” said Stephen Eule, vice president for climate and technology for the Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy. “Unprecedented levels of regulation of the electric power sector could lead to decreased generation diversity, which is why we’re projecting an increased risk in that area. To increase energy security, policymakers should place an emphasis on maintaining the viability of all sources of energy.”

There are three special features in the 2015 Index. The first is a look at how forecasts of various metrics that make up the risk index have changed over time. This is the fifth year of the Index, but the last five years have seen changes in the energy landscape that are without precedent, such as the shale revolution. The analysis demonstrates just how much better the energy sector has performed over the past five years than anticipated.

The second new feature examines how the Energy Information Administration’s seven alternate scenarios impacts energy security. These scenarios range from high oil prices with more production to low prices and restricted production, and include one scenario in which the Obama administration’s “Clean Power Plan” is implemented. Not surprisingly, the scenarios that include allowing crude oil exports have the best impact on energy security risk out to 2025.

Finally, the Index takes a closer look at the vehicle miles traveled intensity metric. This important metric gauges the relative importance of travel of the U.S. economy, and it demonstrates that since 1995 the U.S. has been producing more goods and services for each mile traveled.

The Index of Energy Security Risk includes an interactive web tool that allows users to explore each year's data broken down by category. To read the full report, and learn more about how the Index was computed, visit our website.

The mission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy is to unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a common sense energy strategy to help keep America secure, prosperous, and clean. Through policy development, education, and advocacy, the Institute is building support for meaningful action at the local, state, national, and international levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.