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Is there a 'dark side' to U.S. energy independence?

NEW YORK -- Now that U.S. oil inventories have risen to their highest level in three decades, some pundits have begun to wonder: Is cheap, plentiful crude actually bad for global security? That question was posited last week in a provocative op-ed published in The New York Times headlined "The Dark Side of Energy Independence." Its authors, Foreign Affairs editors Benjamin Alter and Edward Fishman, cautioned that with the U.S. rise as a significant producer of crude comes the possibility that petro-states could break down into political and economic instability.

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