Sustainable America Blog

The U.S. Is Importing Less Oil

In February, Citi Research released a report that showed the United States is no longer the world’s number-one importer of oil. That designation has now fallen to China. U.S. imports of crude oil and petroleum products have fallen from a peak of over 13 million barrels per day in October, 2006, to just under 6 million barrels per day in December, 2012. During the same time period, China flipped from being a net exporter to a net importer of oil with imports reaching just over 6.3 million barrels per day this past January.

This trend in the U.S. can be attributed to a simultaneous increase in production of domestic oil, lower economic activity, an increase in fuel efficiency standards, and the beginnings of a contribution from the use of alternative transportation fuels. In order to create a more resilient fuel supply and to support our national security, it is critical that we continue to reduce the amount of oil we import and the amount of oil that we use in America.

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Sustainable America has set a goal of reducing oil usage in America by 50% by 2035. To achieve this goal we are putting our support behind alternative transportation fuels like natural gas, electric vehicles, and biofuels while also supporting increased fuel efficiency standards. The trend here in America of reducing oil imports and the overall use of oil is one that we hope to see continuing into the future.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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