For a long time the United States has been dependent on other countries for our energy needs, but there are indications that this is slowly changing. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains:
Well … let’s look at two facts here: First of all, let’s look at our importation of oil, which of course we need to refine into gasoline and aviation fuel, et cetera. In 2005, we imported over 60 percent of all the oil that we use. Now that percentage is down to 46 percent.
Now, we’re still dependent on foreign countries, but you can see in going from 60 percent down to 46 percent our dependence has been reduced. And so we’re going in the direction, if you will, of self-sufficiency. So, that’s one fact.
The other fact … is if you look at refined oil products — one of the biggest examples would be gasoline — we’ve actually gone from importing refined oil products to exporting those refined oil products. Our imports of refined oil products over the last couple of years has declined from 4 million barrels a day down to 2 million barrels a day. Our exports of those same products have increased from 1 million barrels a day to 2.5.
So, we’re now on net an exporter, exporting 2.5, importing only 2. All this is to say that our energy situation is changing. We’re … clearly not self-sufficient, but we appear to be moving, perhaps slowly,in that direction.