Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts The New Geopolitics of Oil: The United States, Saudi Arabia, and Russia

The New Geopolitics of Oil: The United States, Saudi Arabia, and Russia

Energy security has been a major priority for the Bush administration since its inauguration in January 2001. Both the president and vice president had connections with the oil industry before they were elected to office. In 1977, George W. Bush founded Arbusto Energy Inc., which was merged into Harken Energy Corp. in 1986. Vice President Richard Cheney was the CEO and chairman of Halliburton Company before joining the Bush ticket and administration. Given their backgrounds and the perception of energy crisis that has persisted since the late 1990s, one of the first things the new Bush administration did was to address the question of the nation’s energy needs. In his second week in office, the president established the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG), directing it to develop a national energy policy. The group was headed by the vice president and included the secretaries of state, treasury, interior, agriculture, commerce, transportation, and energy as well as the heads of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other top officials. In May 2001, the NEPDG presented its assessment of the ‘‘energy crisis’’ in the United States, along with a long list of recommendations to avert the crisis and enhance the nation’s energy security.

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