It would be a powerful political statement indeed to tell the mid-east oil producers “just leave your oil in the ground …we don't need it, we don't want it…perhaps it will make a great lubricant in the twenty – seventh century!”
America can really be energy independent, but the citizens need to force the issue. Everyone can use the three universally available methods. They are Solar (Thermal and photovoltaic), Wind (which is really solar driven, and another form of solar) and the non- solar dependent geothermal heat from the radioactive decay of the actinide elements safely contained thousands of miles beneath our feet in the core of the earth! This is free energy that is available to everyone everywhere for the taking.
Hydrogen is a great way to store the energy from these free-for-the-taking and ubiquitous alternative energy sources. But hydrogen is just a temporary storage method. Hydrogen must be created and stored using non fossil fuel energy. Using fossil fuels to create hydrogen, is stupid, wasteful, and produces no alternative energy benefit whatsoever.
The key to the hydrogen economy is to use wind, and solar, and in some cases geothermal or hydro (falling water) power to make all of the hydrogen we need to power all of out cars, trucks and SUVs. Remember, hydrogen just replaces gasoline or diesel as a portable, tank-able vehicle fuel.
Ultimately, hydrogen always has to be produced mainly from Sol, our hydrogen powered star!