President Obama is announcing plans Thursday to boost
domestic energy production, which is expected to include new offshore oil exploration and drilling. The White House says its new strategy will "set America on a path to energy independence." While drilling isn't likely to win many fans among environmentalists, it could help bring Republicans on board with the president's energy initiatives since the GOP has pushed hard for more domestic drilling to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
Fact Check: How dependent is the U.S. on foreign oil, and where does most of it come from?
- The United States is the world's third largest crude oil producer, but still imports the majority of oil it uses. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 43 percent of the oil used in the United States is domestically produced and 57 percent is imported.
- In 2008, the United States produced 10 percent of the world's petroleum and consumed 23 percent, the USEIA reports.
- Almost half of U.S. crude oil and petroleum-product imports came from the Western Hemisphere (North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean, including U.S. territories) during 2008, according to the USEIA. That includes Canada, which alone provided just over 20 percent of U.S. imports. About 20 percent of imports came from the Persian Gulf countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, with just under 14
percent from Saudi Arabia alone.
- The Energy Information Administration says the increase in U.S. crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, combined with increasing biofuel and coal-to-liquids (CTL) production, will reduce the need for imports over the long term. It projects U.S. petroleum-import dependence will fall from 58 percent in 2007 to 40 percent by 2030.
- The United States already produces a significant percentage of the world's oil, though its huge appetite for petroleum will keep it dependent on foreign sources for the foreseeable future. But progress is being made. And the president's proposals for new drilling could win GOP support for some of his other energy initiatives, in addition to boosting oil supplies.
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