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.
Special to CNN
Politicians tend to think about how the minds and brains of voters work in one of two ways.
The first is to assume that voters come to decisions on issues like health care reform by carefully examining the data and the arguments and then calculating whether one plan or another better fits their rational self-interest. In this view, a campaign is a debate on the issues.
When you hear (or heard) Democratic strategists dismiss polls showing that the majority of Americans opposed the president's health care plan but support its component parts, this is the model of the mind of the voter they are assuming.
Special to CNN
(CNN) - Wednesday's speech from President Obama unveiling his new strategy on offshore drilling, which will keep some sensitive coastal areas open for drilling, hits close to home for me.
I grew up in Chadwick Beach, on the New Jersey shore. My parents took us camping up and down the Eastern Seaboard. In the summer, as a teenager, I'd spend all day every day at the beach and in the ocean, surfing and bodysurfing. Although I remember all the good times along the shore, I also remember the bad, including when hypodermic needles and frothy chemical waste from nearby plants began washing up on the sand.
Now I foresee even more of the bad for places along the East Coast shoreline, as well as the thousands of miles of coast that will be exposed to oil spills, from this latest plan to open up offshore drilling areas.
CNN Political Editor
Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) - The head of an influential social conservative organization urged members and supporters Wednesday to stop donating to the Republican National Committee and instead contribute to its own coffers or to candidates with like-minded goals.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, made the plea in his "Washington Update" column posted on the organization's Web site following the revelation that the RNC paid for a night out at a risque Hollywood nightclub.
"I've hinted at this before, but now I am saying it - don't give money to the RNC," Perkins said in his column. "If you want to put money into the political process, and I encourage you to do so, give directly to candidates who you know reflect your values.
Special to CNN
New York City (CNN) - Who am I? I am an American from the soles of my feet to the hair that once adorned my bald head. An American whose black-skinned ancestors were stolen from their lives and cultures and piled in the holds of ships like so many sacks of skin.
An American whose Jewish ancestors stowed their lives into the holds of later vessels running from a thousand years of anti-Semitism that was soon to blossom into a Holocaust.
An American whose ancestors walked across the frozen waters from Asia to North America discovering a new world that would one day be stolen from their descendants. An English-speaking American whose language is also whispering French from my Louisiana relatives and sublime Spanish from the Mexicans and Mexican-Americans I rubbed shoulders with growing up in Southern California.