Every president since Richard Nixon has pushed to cut U.S. dependence on imported oil, and President Barack Obama is no exception. Now, though, for the first time in 30 years, oil imports are falling in a significant way.
New drilling technologies perfected in the last several years have unlocked enormous domestic reserves of crude oil and natural gas. Policies that mandate increasing use of renewable fuels and better fuel economy for the nation’s cars and trucks have helped slash oil and gasoline demand.
Move over OPEC, North America is about to become a net exporter of oil. At least that’s the supposed good news from the International Energy Agency’s latest outlook. According to the IEA, the drilling boom for shale oil is putting US production on track to pass Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil producer in the world.