US energy future being dictated by OPEC, says former intel director

The country’s energy future is being dictated by the world’s major oil producing nations with no input from American policymakers, a former U.S. intelligence director said Wednesday.

“America’s future is being determined with no Americans in the room,” said retired Adm. Dennis Blair, who served as Obama’s director of national intelligence before resigning last year.

Blair called on policymakers to begin weaning the United States off foreign oil so that the country would not be held hostage by the decisions of major oil producers, which have significant influence over the price of oil on world markets.

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Blair’s comments came on the same day that OPEC — the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries — failed to reach an agreement on a proposal to increase oil production as part of an effort to address high prices.

“These meetings that take place in foreign capitols run by people who have no interest in American national security are affecting us,” Blair said.

While Saudi Arabia pushed for the production increase, Venezuela and Iran objected to it, according to The Associated Press. The organization will meet again in three months to reconsider the proposal.

Blair, an energy security advocate who works with the group Securing America's Future Energy, called for a series of policies aimed at cutting oil dependence, including an increase in vehicle fuel economy standards.

"It is not a market-drive problem that will solve itself; it’s a problem that requires active involvement by the U.S. government itself," Blair said.

“The OPEC meeting today with the chairmanship by Iran — a country that not only has no concern about the interests of the United States, but has also been openly hostile to those interests — just dramatizes these concerns.”

Iran currently holds the presidency of OPEC. The United States is not one of OPEC’s 12 member countries.