What would happen in the U.S. if a large share of the world's oil supply was suddenly cut off? Former U.S. officials tried to answer that question in the "Oil Shockwave" simulation. The scenario: an attack on an oil processing plant in Saudi Arabia sends crude oil prices skyrocketing, and further political unrest leads to military action. Former National Security Advisor John Negroponte, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister are among the players, filling the roles of cabinet officials who must deal with the unfolding crisis.
Negroponte says the scenario played out in the simulation is realistic, based on his experience. He says relatively modest reductions in oil supply on the world market can result in incredible disruptions. Hofmeister says officials should be "ringing the alarm bells and the sirens" to make people aware of U.S. vulnerability to a major shutoff in its foreign oil supply. If America is to be strong, he says, it needs to be in charge of its own energy destiny.