We’ve increased our oil production, but not nearly enough.
As you can see in the graph below, the gap between U.S. oil production and oil consumption has shrunk.
However, we’re still in a hole millions of barrels per day deep. America is a transport-intensive society, and even though production is up by around 3.2 million barrels per day since 2005, it’s not enough to satisfy our thirst for oil.
That means we have to import foreign oil to feed our addiction.
And not just a few gallons. As you can see, while the amount of oil we import has fallen since the fracking boom that began in 2008, imports are still sky-high.
Can’t we just produce more oil?
If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, we only have a limited amount of oil that can be extracted at a reasonable price. Much of America’s oil resources are difficult and expensive to obtain, making them unviable while oil prices remain low. And that’s not even mentioning the potentially negative environmental effects.
So what can we do?
Diversifying our transportation fuel sources is the best way to truly solve this problem. Bringing domestically produced alternative fuels — like ethanol, natural gas, electricity, and hydrogen — into our transportation fuel mix will reduce our oil consumption and decrease the amount of foreign oil we import. That means we will be less susceptible to oil-price spikes caused by international events and infrastructure problems.
It means we’ll finally be free from our dependence on foreign oil.