According to the Energy Information Administration, 60 percent of the crude oil and petroleum products consumed in the United States between April 2005 and March 2006 (12,400,000 barrels per day) was imported. At a cost of $60 per barrel of oil, Americans remit an average of $500,000 per minute to other countries for petroleum, money that could have been spent creating domestic jobs and strengthening our Nation's economy.
A significant percentage of these petroleum imports originate in countries controlled by regimes that are unstable or openly hostile to the interests of the United States. Dependence on production from these countries contributes to the volatility of domestic and global markets and the `risk premium' paid by American consumers.
The Energy Information Administration projects that the total petroleum demand in the United States will increase by 23 percent between 2006 and 2026, while domestic crude production is expected to decrease by 11 percent, resulting in an anticipated 28 percent increase in petroleum imports. Absent significant action, our Nation will become more vulnerable to oil price increases, more dependent upon foreign oil, and less able to pursue our national interests.
H.R.1506 (pdf | html), the Fuel Economy Reform Act, is working it's way through Congress now. This legislation is way overdue -- this should have been a key component of the President's War on Terror five years ago, and only now that we have Democratic control of Congress does this have a chance of passing.
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