Did you know that in 2013, the US imported 3,574,781,000 barrels of crude oil and petroleum products. Source: EIA – US Imports of Crude Oil
To convert that to gallons, something we are more familiar with, you multiply times 42. Therefore, in 2013, the US imported roughly 150 billion gallons of oil.
To calculate the cost of the imported oil, take the Brent Crude Oil Average Price Per Barrel of $108.64/barrel for 2013 and multiplied it by the number of barrels imported to get $388,000,000,000 spent on imported foreign oil in 2013.
Then use the Brent (European) average price for oil instead of the Cushing, Oklahoma WTI price because the Brent is more appropriate for imported oil.
To put that in some perspective, that works out to spending over $738,000 per minute on foreign oil in 2013.
That many US dollars going overseas every year, for oil imports alone, adds to our trade deficit and weakens the US dollar. By using domestic natural gas, we strengthen both our nation’s economy and energy security keeping jobs and revenues at home. With our country’s enormous national debt and current economic crisis, wouldn’t it be great if we could slow the spending on oil and keep those dollars within our own economy? The good news is we can.
The United States has an abundant supply of an excellent alternative fuel choice right here on her own soil – natural gas. Natural gas offers a cleaner, domestic alternative to petroleum-based fuels and is an immediate solution to our national spending spree on oil. Together, by creating the infrastructure to allow more natural gas vehicles (NGVs) on our highways, we can significantly reduce the US dependence on foreign oil and subsequently increase our national security and boost our own economy. New technologies have allowed the rapid emergence of gas-producing shales as a major energy source, representing a truly transformative event for U.S. energy supplies. Even further, natural gas can be used to power generators to produce electricity and it can be used as a heat source. Using natural gas is truly a one-stop-shop for getting the US to a state of energy independence.
Making America less dependent on foreign oil is a national priority. The threat of higher oil prices and dwindling oil supply due to tensions in the Middle East, as well as China and India’s growing consumption have resulted in an increased focus on domestic natural gas consumption. The current Administration has outlined a goal of zero oil imports from the Middle East within ten years. In his 2006, former President Bush stated that we are “addicted to oil,” an addiction his Administration was dedicated to breaking. In his 2008 acceptance speech, President Obama set a goal of declaring independence from oil imported from the Middle East. Congress too is in support of reducing petroleum use, and has passed legislation containing incentives to motivate Americans to move to non-petroleum fuels.
About 98% of the natural gas we use comes from right here in North America as compared to the 60% of oil that we import. Every gallon equivalent of natural gas used in vehicles is one less gallon of petroleum that has to be imported. Current estimates state that if the US converted all its’ vehicles to natural gas, the current supply would last for 100 – 120 years. In addition, we now have the capability to produce more natural gas from landfill emissions, making natural gas a renewable resource. There is no reason we cannot sustain our own fuel supply in the United States.
Can you imagine a time when we control our own energy future and do not depend on foreign nations and the tensions of economic politics?
We can. It looks like this:
It’s a time when you can go to the fuel pump and pay less than half of what you do now for a tank of fuel. It’s a time when the employment rate is higher because we are working to use our own natural resources and our own people to develop, produce, dispense, and sell the fuel. It’s a time when our national deficit is reduced because we’ve stopped paying trillions of dollars for oil to foreign nations and, in turn, invested that money in our own people. It’s a time when we can all feel secure in our future, because we’ve taken control of our energy production and eliminated the need to worry about increasing prices or fuel shortages. It’s a time when we no longer have to worry about how our children will survive in the job market or have to pay down the national debt.
It is possible. For some, it’s already a reality. Why not help and take the United States one step closer to energy independence? Let’s work towards this goal together as a nation, and let’s do it now.