America needs an energy independence policy

The chart here from Calculated Risk shows that oil imports are a major contributor to the US balance of payments problem.    A national goal should be to bring the oil imports factor in the trade balance to zero.  This could be done by changing homes heated by oil to natural gas or electricity,  increasing vehicle fuel efficiency,  switching vehicles to natural gas or electricity, eliminating oil burning power plants, and more.

The US Department of Energy tracks sources of oil imported into the US and the figures may be surprising:

Crude Oil Imports (Top 15 Countries)
(Thousand Barrels per Day)
Country Dec-09 Nov-09 YTD 2009 Dec-08 YTD 2008

CANADA 2,051 1,984 1,938 2,033 1,956
MEXICO 1,063 951 1,096 1,126 1,187
NIGERIA 1,020 948 771 869 922
SAUDI ARABIA 886 837 989 1,394 1,503
VENEZUELA 772 809 965 1,028 1,039
ALGERIA 336 219 277 235 312
IRAQ 325 458 448 519 627
ANGOLA 266 408 449 553 504
BRAZIL 181 261 294 208 231
COLOMBIA 179 216 254 148 178
RUSSIA 168 169 232 54 116
KUWAIT 160 287 185 194 206
AZERBAIJAN 147 74 75 78 73
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE) 93 109 64 95 67
ECUADOR 86 150 174 252 214

Canada, Mexico, and Nigeria as the top three!  Another chart from the DOE shows that the Persian Gulf provides a surprisingly low proportion (18%) of the oil imported into the US:

JANUARY – DECEMBER 2009
(Thousand Barrels)
Totals: 3,276,431 603,546 18%

What is the oil used for?

Petroleum Products Consumed in 2008

Product Annual Consumption (Million barrels per day)
Finished Motor Gasoline 8.989
Distillate Fuel Oil (Diesel Fuel and Heating Oil) 3.945
Liquefied Petroleum Gases (LPG) 1.954
Kero-Type Jet Fuel 1.539
Petroleum Coke 0.464

These are the top five uses…clearly the focus for reduction needs to be on motor vehicles.

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