The economic case for energy independence has always been nonsensical. It is not possible to shield American consumers from rising prices at the pump simply by replacing foreign oil with domestic oil. Why? Because regardless of where the oil is produced – Oman or Oklahoma – its prices are set by the global market.
Myself and I believe most people who have thought about the issue never suggest replacing foreign oil with domestic oil. It's true that we should increase domestic refining capacity as well as drill for oil absolutely everywhere we find it because wherever oil is produced ("Oman or Oklahoma") prices will drop if supply increases. But this is not the ultimate solution, and nearly everyone knows that, and that makes me question who Dalmia's audience is. Oilmen and idiots, I suppose.
We need an energy source that's better than oil (more powerful), renewable, as well as practical. That rules out nuclear as the ultimate solution because it's impractical to power aircraft and automobiles with nuclear reactors. Weening ourself off foreign oil (or most oil) could be as simple as learning to efficiently generate hydrogen. Or using corn-based methanol in automobiles.
Oil powered and lubricated the industrial revolution. It is now time for the next era to begin.
Towards the conclusion of the article, the author actually argues against energy independence because "we would give up crucial leverage to control the worst behavior of some of the world's worst regimes." This is idiocy. Economic sanctions are America's (and Europe's) preferred lever against such regimes, with oil comprising only a portion of what is involved. For instance, since 1979 no American business can trade (sell & buy product) from Iran or an Iranian-based company. If we received no oil from the Middle East, that leverage would remain.
And while sanctions are the preferred lever, there are others in the case that sanctions fail, as with Iraq. None of this changes if America achieves energency independence, either complete or with respect to the Middle East.