That is correct — not million but billion, not in one year but in one month! That is how much the US spent on imported oil in September 2009.
For those concerned about the US economy or national security risks, T. Boone Pickens and data from the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) show us that foreign oil imports should be at the top of our list. We rely very heavily on foreign oil and send a good chunk of our money to other countries to supply us with that oil — $25 billion last month alone!
Take a closer look.
Breaking it down for us, this is what Pickens found: the US spent $573,770 per minute on foreign oil last month. Continuing with previous trends, 63% of our oil was imported. Looking at how much that is per individual, the average US citizen sent over $81 to foreign countries for oil last month, and if you look at it per household, that equals over $207 per month. Not a small part of your or our government’s cash.
Pickens says: “Continuously importing 60-70 percent of our oil each month is a major national security risk. On an annualized basis, we’re sending almost a quarter of a trillion dollars to help the economies of Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Venezuela instead of sending it to the economies of our own states abundant in natural gas—the only immediately available domestic fuel alternative. Americans can’t afford to be distracted by falling gasoline prices.”
My grandfather was the chief excavation geologist for Exxon for all of the US except California and Alaska before he retired. As he put it a year ago, plain and simple, we just got spoiled. Now, we need to deal with that and cut our addiction through other means. Voluntary action now would be a lot easier than forced action later on.
Last year, we engaged in essentially the biggest transfer of wealth in human history due to oil being at $140/barrel. If we want to improve our economy and our national security risk, we should start using more domestic energy sources. The Pickens Plan lays out proposed steps in that direction and by using more wind and solar energy for power generation, as well as natural gas for transportation fuel, it says we could cut more than one-third of that imported oil out of our monthly imports and foreign expenditures.
Oil imports are no small factor in any analysis of the US economy or national security risk. This information puts it in another light, though. Hopefully, we can get off that oil addiction before it is too late and we have ourselves in a situation similar to the guy in the picture at the top.
Image Credit: hrtmnstrfr via flickr under Creative Commons license
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