James Zogby is talking on the commonwealth club right now on KQED.
He made two claims:
One, that although alternate supplies of energy are good, we aren't going to achieve energy independence. This is probably true. But I think that replacing any substantial amount of our current imported energy with new domestic sources can help our national security and economic situation.
Two, that even if the U.S. imported no energy that we still would not be independent of Middle East oil, because other countries, on which we depend, depend on Mideast oil. Like Japan, China, Taiwan, etc. This may be true. But it's also true that if the U.S. develops a domestic energy production capacity, other nations will follow to the extent that it makes economic sense for them to do so. The U.S. isn't going to have a broadscale switch to domestic energy supplies unless those supplies are cheaper than the alternative. Oil was one of the first big Globalized products, so if it's cheaper for us it'll be cheaper for them.