Oil is the lynchpin of the American economy. We use oil for a long list of applications, including:
- Transportation Fuels (Gasoline, Diesel, Jet Fuel)
- Military and defense
- Electrical generation
According to the Energy Information Administration, transportation (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, etc.) accounts for about 2/3 of the oil we use in the United States. Gasoline for cars, SUV’s and light trucks accounts for roughly 45% of the oil we use.
We import about 65% of our petroleum from foreign countries, including Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Algeria, and Nigeria.
Even if we removed every gasoline-powered vehicle from the road, the United States would still be dependent on foreign sources of oil.
Developing America’s energy resources is a key element of maintaining our economic and national security. We will never be totally energy independent, nor should we be. We live in a global economy, and we achieve major efficiencies by importing energy as other countries can produce energy cheaper than we can. And, foreign trade is an important aspect of our foreign policy.
However, we should have the capacity to stop importing energy from unfriendly countries. We should have sufficient domestic sources to withstand supply disruptions or price spikes. We should do what we can to smooth price fluctuations and transition to future energy technologies.
We are currently at the mercy of World energy markets when we should use them as a tool.