Thursday, June 14, 2012

US Oil Imports Drop 30% in 7 Years & Are Still Falling

Oil imports are dropping like a stone, down about 30% in 7 years. And they will fall further next year, according to the EIA's just released Short Term Energy Outlook.

In 2005, US oil imports peaked at about 60% of the total.  Then the fall began.

The combination of increased domestic production, consumption reductions, and oil substitutes gaining ground had made a big difference by 2010 when oil imports were down to 49%.

Last year saw another big decline to 45% of oil, and this year imports are expected to account for 42%.

What about 2013? Oil imports will be at the 40% mark, according to the EIA forecast.

Going from 60% imports to 40%--a 20-percentage-point drop--in just 8 years is a big deal. Simply put, the US  should cut its oil imports by one-third in 2013.

That fact is worth celebrating.  But we must not be satisfied with the progress made to date.  

We know now the recipe for ending foreign oil imports: increase fuel efficiency, boost domestic production, and boost the usage of oil substitutes like natural gas, biofuels, and electricity.  Let's finish the job within ten years.

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