A new graphic presentation from Bloomberg demonstrates just exactly how America is becoming less dependent on not just foreign oil, but domestic oil as well.
Graphs show how gas prices have risen and fallen over the past five years and are now at their lowest since 2010. Some states are even reporting an average price of less than $2 per gallon.
“With so much cheap oil available,” reads the presentation, “you’d expect consumption to be soaring — yet that isn’t happening. In fact, the US is consuming the least oil per dollar of gross domestic product in more than 40 years.”
Where oil consumption and GDP once “moved roughly in tandem,” the GDP now continues to rise and oil demand has seemed to remain steadily between 18 million and 20 million barrels a day since about 2009. In fact, economists at the Department of Energy are predicting that consumption next year “will be flat, and may even contract.”
To figure out why this is occurring, several factors have to be take into consideration.
First, automobiles’ average fuel efficiency has generally and continuously increased, according to Bloomberg’s graphs, since 2008, reaching a peak of 25.8 miles per gallon in August of this year.
Also, people seem to be driving less, as baby boomers retire and younger people move to cities and use public transportation. Bloomberg also cites Americans’ increasing use of alternative energy sources like wind and solar power as a cause for the decline in oil consumption.
The decrease in demand, coupled with an increase in production, has resulted in a significant drop in the number of barrels of foreign oil imported to America. In 2010, the US was importing about 9.2 million barrels a day, down to just 6.15 million in 2014.
America is relying less and less on oil from countries like Venezuela, Russia, and Nigeria, and from OPEC countries as a whole. In October 2008, the US was importing 5.31 million barrels a day from OPEC countries, a number that dropped to 2.9 million in September of this year.
The increase in domestic production coupled with the decline in consumption means that America is able to export more crude oil, a number that skyrocketed from 0.06 million barrels a day in January to 0.42 million barrels in September.
This year, America was able to supply 89 percent of its own energy, up two percent from last year, meaning the country is growing ever closer to reaching the ultimate goal of being energy independent.
View the entire presentation at Bloomberg.