The United State is more energy independent than ever before because of a multiprong effort that includes increased domestic oil and natural gas production, energy efficiency, and more biofuels. This multiprong effort has helped push petroleum imports down to 45 percent of the petroleum needed to meet U.S. demand, compared to 60 percent in 2005.
With the election right around the corner, President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have promised to keep this trend growing. Romney promises to be more aggressive on drilling for oil and natural gas by opening areas that are currently under utlized, including off the Pacific Coast. Obama on the other hand, is pushing an “all of the above” approach. Obama would increase drilling, but will continue to leave some areas off limits.
“No matter who is elected, we will be more energy independent every year for the next decade, unless there are some extreme policy changes,” said James Williams, an analyst for WTRG Economics.
The American Petroleum Institute also wants to increase drilling by opening more more oil and natural gas source. If the rate continues as it is, U.S. production could provide 74 percents of the country’s liquid fuel and biofuels by 2024. According the HeroldNet, if you increase production, the U.S. wouldn’t need petroleum from any other country.
The only thing standing in the way of increased production is the anti-drilling and fracking activists. Environmental concerns regarding fracking has caused the government to investigate and place heavy regulations on the fracking process. The investigations of regulations have caused production to slow down. While alternative energy source, natural gas, is still a fossil fuel, it produces half of the carbon emissions that traditional fossil fuels. Under the Administration’s Clean Air Act, all new manufacturing companies are required to reduce its carbon footprint. Most of these manufacturing facilities have turned to natural gas to reduce carbon emissions under the Act.