US Takes Measures to Curb Reliance on Foreign Oil

As U.S. domestic oil and gas production increases each year since President Obama took office, US reliance on foreign ol has also decreased.

In his remarks to the American Jewish Committee’s National in Dc, Deputy Assistant Secretary Robert F. Cekuta for Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs said U.S. dependence on imported oil fell below 50% in 2010 for the first time in more than a decade.

An offshore oil platform.

He says US reliance on foreign oil has decreased, and that trend is expected to continue which is attributed by the the historic fuel economy standards established by President Obama.

In 2009, the United States produced 5.3 mmbd. Current U.S. crude production is 6.1mmbd, a figure which is equal to the production we saw at the close of 2011, when U.S. crude oil production reached its highest level since 2003, Mr. Cej=kuta reported.

The 6.1 mmbd U.S. production figure is also an increase over 2010 levels by an estimated 120,000 barrels per day, he added.

The United States has seen U.S. oil imports dropping since 2005, and net imports as a share of total consumption fell from 57 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2011 which is the lowest level since 1995.

Moreover, U.S. natural gas production grew by more than 7 percent in 2011 which is the largest year-over-year volumetric increase in history and easily eclipsed the previous production record set in 1973, Mr. Cekuta highlighted.

According to Mr. Cekuta, the United States is taking measures to reduce these imports and to look at these steps as part of an overall effort to boost the United States’ energy security and economic well-being.

“Let me first of all note something Secretary Clinton has said: “You can’t talk about our economy or foreign policy without talking about energy.” – Mr. Cekuta

He cites that the Secretary, as part of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, established a Bureau of Energy Resources in October 2011.

He notes that the Bureau is designed to unite U.S. diplomatic and programmatic efforts to build sustainable, transparent, and predictable international markets for conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, civilian nuclear power, and electricity, to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and to increase access to energy and encourage good governance and transparency in the energy sector.

All of these factors advance our national security interests, and those of our allies, advance US environmental goals, and advance a strong national and global economy, Mr. Cekuta underlined.

The Bureau of Energy Resources takes a broad view of what is integral to U.S. and global energy security.

“The first is what we have traditionally thought of as energy security, going back to the days of the Arab oil embargo and before: the flow of traditional hydrocarbons, in particular oil and gas.” -Mr. Cekuta

The United States continues to use its diplomacy to ensure that access to oil, gas, and coal is adequate, reliable, and affordable.

The second focus of the Bureau of Energy Resources and its work to promote energy security is on the energy of the future, he stressed.

He says American companies are world leaders in wind, solar, hydro, power transmission, efficient generation, and smart grids.

“In this focus on the energy of the future, an important source will be boosting energy efficiency.” -Mr. Cekuta

The third focus is the access to energy for the 1.3 billion people around the world today who do not have it.

Energy is an essential component for development, he added.

He stresses that the need for energy is core today for manufacturing, commerce, and daily lives, but in today’s world, energy is also essential for providing health care.

However, he pointed out that a country being a source for energy, for oil and gas, can also bring challenges, especially when the proceeds from the oil and gas sector are not used for the benefit of a country’s population.

He adds the energy sector all too often provides great opportunities for mismanagement and corruption, and has fueled bad behavior in too many countries to name.

The United States continues to be a leader in transparency, accountability, and good governance in the energy sector, and in promotion of these important values around the world, Mr. Cekuta noted.

“The State Department is also working hard to help countries that are developing their energy sectors do so safely, responsibly, and accountably in all aspects.” -Mr. Cekuta

Better technology, innovative approaches, and changing economics have brought the potential for oil and gas development to new countries and regions of the world, he added.

He reports that the Administration has made the largest investment in clean energy in history and the United States has nearly doubled renewable energy generation since 2008.

Moreover, since October 2009, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have completed energy upgrades in more than one million homes, he reported.

He underlines that that the goals and initiatives he discussed are all part of the U.S. government’s goals of increasing global energy security and promoting economic prosperity.

He notes that the steps are not just for governments; citizens and the private sector have essential roles in building a secure energy future as well.

“The bottom-line is that energy security remains an important and basic concern, something we can all take steps to help achieve.” -Mr. Cekuta

On May 2011, Federal Reserve Economic Database reported that the U.S. imported 62 percent of its oil, or 362 million barrels in May 2011, sending approximately $41.7 billion, or $934,357.63 per minute, to foreign countries.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.