At the heart of decision-making about alternative fuel development is the issue of risk. The risk of a fully developed alternative fuels industry that reduces the demand for oil is potentially damaging to oil producing countries and companies. But, the risk of not having an alternative fuels program during times of high oil prices is a risk to oil consuming countries, industries and individuals. Collectively, these risks and their mitigations create a complex set of actions and reactions. As such, research is necessary to understand the role that differences in beliefs and norms by National Oil Companies, International Oil Companies, Investment Banks and governments have on the development of alternative transportation fuels.
In 1913 Winston Churchill stated that, “safety and certainty in oil, lie in variety and variety alone.” His pursuit was energy security through a diversity of supply – meaning oil from different parts of the world. Today, the world and the United States are dependent upon only one source for transportation fuel – oil. But, calls for “energy diversification” and “energy independence” to enhance economic, energy, and national security grow louder when the price of oil increases to new highs. Americans expect that progress is being made in developing alternative fuels – including underutilized fossil fuels from domestic sources – which strengthen the country’s economic and national security. Additionally, freshwater and energy are inextricably linked, another area of not solely American, but global, interest.
Resource costs and availability are also major factors in groups carrying out political violence. Energy resources are part of this, but remain an area that affects the whole world as well. ARTIS’ interest in the area of Energy Resource Analysis is both academic and practical. Energy security connects directly to social movements, networks, and decision-making, and requires further study. Our practical interest in Energy resources comes from the realization that energy will not come from the current sources forever, and is coupled with a desire to better understand the current technology in existence, possibilities being developed, and global needs and access. ARTIS is committed to studying these issues.