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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Energy Independence?

Imported OilThe short-answer here is: the US is decreasing it's dependence on foreign oil.  The phrase 'Energy Independence' can be traced back to Richard Nixon, at a time when the US was relatively independent.  Today, the global economy and the 'American Energy Portfolio' is quite different than it was in the 1960s so the phrase implies something much different.  It has been used  to inspire patriotism, American ingenuity, or maybe just to conjur up fear in the hearts of voting members of the American public.  What is energy independence anyway?
Triple E Agent Assignment:
Examine history of oil consumption, production, and imports to the US...
What trends do we see in US energy consumption?

The Energy Independence and Security Act (EIS Act) was passed by Congress in 2007 and designed to:
  • increase production of clean renewable fuels
  • increase efficiency [of energy use] for/by products, buildings, and vehicles
  • promote research for and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage
  • improve energy performance of the US government

A wide variety of energy sources are used in the US, but our reliance on foreign oil is at the crux of the energy independence dialogue.  Examining US oil consumption, production and imports in Triple E's chart above (data from BP's Statistical Review of World Energy) shows that the US imported a minimum of 18.7% of oil consumed in 1967 and a maximum of 66.9% of oil consumed in 2006.  Maybe the EIS Act has really had some impact? US oil consumption has decreased, domestic oil production has increased, and imports have fallen to 58.4% of oil consumed in 2011.

Triple E is impressed with our progress on the oil front, but this story is far from over.  There are many other areas to investigate in the energy, environment, and economic landscape.

Stay Alert,
Triple E.

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