Over the past few months, high oil and gasoline prices have had pundits and politicians flailing away about what we should do. On the one hand, some believe the United States is sitting on countless oil deposits, and the quickest, best solution is to poke holes in the ground and watch gas prices fall. On the other hand, weathered industry professionals, such as retired oil baron, T. Boone Pickens, realize an immediate need for independence from oil, whether domestic or foreign. In Pickens’ recently purchased TV spots, he clearly states that “we can’t drill our way out of this emergency,” and in a recent interview with CNN’s Lou Dobbs he said America should utilize its cleaner, cheaper, abundant resources, such as natural gas, wind and solar power.
The U.S. consumes about 21 million barrels of oil per day (mbd) – roughly 25 percent of total world oil production. We import almost two-thirds of what we use (14 mbd ) from foreign countries. The cost of these imports is approaching $2 billion per day ($700 billion per year at $136 per barrel). This is a significant drain, both on the finances of individual households and on our national economic security.
What are the near term (three to five-year) options?