US Crude Oil Field Production & Net Crude Oil Imports Cumulative Stack Chart
When politicians talk about US energy independence, it's important to realize the scale and scope of the mountain of oil import dependency we have built. Under no scenario, even if all of the environmental regulations were tossed out the window, is America capable of energy self sufficiency without drastic cuts in oil consumption. If you see any discussion of US oil production and imports at all in the mainstream media that goes beyond interviews with upset motorists at gas stations, charts will nearly always be shown in narrower windows of time or presented in a manner to obscure the big picture. This is what the big picture really looks like, and it's not pretty.
Our energy debt is high, no alternative sources can match the scale of energy density and uses of oil, and sooner or later other major producing nations will pass their production peak just as we had, and there will be less net imports on the world market to feed that red mountain. This is an incredibly serious predicament that should command every citizen's attention.
It should be noted more recent forecasts show this gap is narrowing, but it cannot be understated how difficult the concept of US "energy independence is. Growing import demand in China is preventing recent gains in narrowing this gap in the US from suppressing global oil prices.
Chart produced in Excel from EIA spread sheet data sets and enhanced in photoshop.
Image licensed as creative commons.