Geopolitical Flashpoints in Oil Producing Countries: Implications for U.S. National and Energy Security

Events across the globe offer stark reminders that energy security and national security are inextricably linked, and that the global oil market is subject to economically-damaging instability. Sustained high oil prices are fueling an increasingly assertive Russian foreign policy and emboldening dangerous actors like Iran. Meanwhile, a series of oil production outages in Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and elsewhere have tightened global supplies, elevating the risk of a serious price spike in 2014. Although the United States is producing more oil domestically than it has since the 1980s, further progress on American and allied energy security is urgently needed.

Speaker Biographies

Congressman Gene Green was first elected to Congress from the 29th Congressional District of Texas in 1992 after twenty years in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate. In 1996, Green was appointed to the powerful U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, which he continues to serve on today. For the 113th Congress, he serves on the Subcommittee on Health, Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Subcommittee on Environment and Economy, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Since being elected to the House of Representatives, Rep. Green has been a champion of education, labor, energy, domestic manufacturing, health issues, and preserving Social Security and veterans benefits. He has worked hard to improve access to quality health care, support initiatives to improve our economy and job training, and maintain financial aid for students. Green, a native Houstonian, graduated from Jeff Davis High School. He received a degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston in 1971. He attended Bates College of Law at the University of Houston and was admitted as a member of the State Bar of Texas in 1977.

Congressman Cory Gardner was first elected to Congress in 2010 to represent the Colorado's 4th Congressional District. He previously served in the Colorado state legislature for five years and before that as general counsel and legislative director for U.S. Senator Wayne Allard. Since first getting elected, Congressman Gardner has introduced and passed legislation to expand the development of the nation’s domestic energy resources, which he believes is essential to our national security. Congressman Gardner serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction ranging over national energy policy to interstate and foreign communications. He graduated summa cum laude from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, moving on to law school at the University of Colorado to earn his Juris Doctor.

Admiral Michael Mullen, U.S. Navy (Ret.) was sworn in as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 2007. Until his retirement, he served as the principal military advisor to the president, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. A native of Los Angeles, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968. He commanded three ships: the gasoline tanker USS Noxubee (AOG 56), the guided missile destroyer USS Goldsborough (DDG 20) and the guided missile cruiser USS Yorktown (CG 48). As a flag officer, Mullen commanded Cruiser-Destroyer Group 2, the George Washington Battle Group and the U.S. 2nd Fleet/NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic. Ashore he served in leadership positions at the Naval Academy, in the Navy's Bureau of Personnel, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Navy Staff. He was the 32nd Vice Chief of Naval Operations from August 2003 to October 2004. His last operational assignment was as commander, NATO Joint Force Command Naples/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe. Mullen is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School and earned a Master of Science degree in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School. Prior to becoming chairman, Mullen served as the 28th Chief of Naval Operations.

John Hannah is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). During the two terms of President George W. Bush, Mr. Hannah served as one of Vice President Dick Cheney's top foreign policy aides, including as the Vice President’s national security advisor from 2005-2009.  Previously, Mr. Hannah held senior positions at the U.S. Department of State during the administrations of President George H.W. Bush and President William J. Clinton.  Mr. Hannah earned a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. from Duke University.
Steven Mufson is a staff writer covering energy and other financial news at The Washington Post. He has worked at the Post since 1989 and has been its chief economic policy writer, Beijing correspondent, diplomatic correspondent and deputy editor of the weekly Outlook section. Earlier, he spent six years working for The Wall Street Journal in New York, London and Johannesburg and wrote a book about the 1980s uprisings in South Africa’s black townships.

Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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