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American Independence from Foreign Oil

American independence from foreign oil has been a stated goal of both the Democratic and Republican parties. However, our political leaders differ greatly regarding the steps we need to take as a nation to make this happen. Therefore, the professed desire for oil independence and steps such as The XL Keystone Pipeline are mired in debate and gridlock. The fact is, the United States could free itself from its dependence on foreign oil if our leaders were sincere about what is best for the nation. North America has more than enough readily available fuel within its crust to address and sustain our energy needs many times over. With the only move in sight from the government continues to be wasteful spending on alternative energy businesses that are careless with taxpayer money. Now, The American Free Enterprise System Must Be Unleashed and it is the private sector that will have to develop independent American energy sources. Public demand for it is high, making this field ripe for profitable investments.

Natural gas is the biggest source of potential energy we have within the United States. In fact, more energy is available through the natural gas deposits within the United States than is available through the oil reserves of the Middle East. With all of this natural gas available and ready to be mined, it seems ridiculous that the U.S. government spends over $260 billion a year importing oil from overseas and even more money fighting wars to allow us to maintain access to that foreign oil. Reducing the amount of foreign oil we buy would drastically cut the national deficit and improve economic conditions within the United States. If the government won't do it, then the private sector can and must take over the role of energy production in this country.

It is also less expensive to use natural gas as an energy source than it is to use oil. Turning natural gas into useable energy costs about one-third of what it costs to convert oil in the same way. Using natural gas as a primary source of fuel would reduce energy expenses for the average person at home and increase profits for businesses by reducing their energy expenses as well. Transportation costs would be reduced all around by relying on natural gas. Lower energy costs equals a stronger economy.

Another plus to using natural gas for energy is that it is more environmentally friendly than oil. This is true both in its use and in its extraction from the earth. Oil use produces a lot of carbon dioxide that goes into the atmosphere and contributes to the greenhouse effect and global warming. The use of natural gas produces only about half the carbon dioxide of oil. We could slow global warming and help heal our planet by putting more reliance on natural gas as an energy source.

Setting up private companies that extract and distribute natural gas for energy use in the United States would further stimulate the economy by creating jobs. People will be needed to mine, refine, and deliver natural gas to power companies and private institutions. Natural gas is abundant and relatively untapped in North America. Using private enterprise to develop it into our preferred source of energy makes sense and the market for it is wide open for forward thinking and ambitious investors. Through developing our nation's own natural gas reserves we can reduce our reliance on oil from all sources, improve our economy, and contribute to a cleaner, healthier planet.

Of course, natural gas does not have to be our nation's only source of energy. We can still use oil to a lesser extent and we don't have to depend on foreign markets to get it. Right now, our use of oil is extremely irresponsible. The American people use around 18 million barrels of oil a day and the United States produces only about half of this within its own borders. It imports the rest. Three million barrels a day are imported within North America from Canada and Mexico. The remaining 6 million barrels a day come from overseas. This large amount of oil use and high daily imports from overseas are both unnecessary. The economy and the environment also suffers from this heavy reliance on foreign oil.

Making natural gas our primary energy source would virtually eliminate the need to import oil from anywhere else. We could easily meet all of our nation's energy demands by using oil extracted from our own soil. If additional oil were needed, we have the resources and reserves necessary to supply it on our own. Domestic oil companies are not running at full capacity. Increasing production in this area could add another 4 million barrels of oil a day to the United States. This oil could be used to supplement natural gas use and any surplus could be sold to foreign markets. This would bring in much needed money to reduce the national deficit.

Developing the rich oil resources in the Gulf of Mexico would increase oil production within the United States by another 2.5 million barrels a day. Right now, the Gulf of Mexico is a largely untapped resource for oil. The main problem in mining oil in the Gulf is the tight restrictions placed on such projects by the federal government. A strong public demand for change would press lawmakers to ease those restrictions and allow private oil enterprises to flourish in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ninety-six percent of all oil production in the United States already comes from private enterprises. This could be increased to 100 percent with more progressive policies from lawmakers concerning new oil ventures. The Gulf of Mexico and Alaska alone could easily provide the 6 million barrels of oil a day we import from overseas. Domestic natural gas and oil production facilities can allow the United States to enjoy full energy independence. These ventures will also create jobs that will improve the economy. The market demand for these ventures is already there. It is up to private enterprise and those willing to invest in America's future to help Americans achieve this goal.

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