Bottom Line Up Front:
Current American political mandates limit efficient domestic energy production and place the United
States at risk through energy dependence on foreign governments through nationalized oil corporations.
Congress and the President must undertake immediate reform of current laws and regulations to
rationalize efficient domestic energy production and achieve energy independence.
Americans consume approximately 20 million barrels of petroleum products daily.1 As a nation,our
net petroleum imports are about 12.3 million barrels a day,with Canada as our largest import source
(2.3 million barrels a day).Mexico provides 1.4 million barrels a day,making net imports for the
United States from sources outside North Ame ica about 8.6 million barrels pe day.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA)2 ,petroleum accounts for about 38%of
ene gy consumed in the United States.Other sources include coal (22%),natural gas (21%),nuclea
elect ic power (8%),renewable energy 3 (6%),and othe (5%).As of 2006,net imports account for
about 33%of all energy consumed in the United States.4 Ways in which energy is used in the United
States breaks out as follows: residential (21%), commercial (18%), industrial (33%)and transportation
A summary of current known oil, gas and coal resources in the United States
–Crude Oil –The EIA reports that there are 174.8 billion barrels of crude oil within the United States
(this includes an estimated of 105.05 billion barrels remaining undiscovered, 82.54 billion barrels
of which are estimated to be on Federal land,thus generally unavailable for development under
current laws and regulations). Additionally, the Green River Formation (Colorado,Wyoming and
Utah) holds 1.5 to 1.8 trillion barrels of oil shale deposits,of which about 800 billion barrels are
currently considered to be recoverable 5 -the largest known deposit of oil shale on the earth.Crude
oil consumption in the United States in 2006 was 15.64 million barrels a day.6 According to the
Argonne National Laboratory, “If oil shale could be used to meet a quarter of that demand, the
estimated 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from the Green River Formation would last for
more than 400 years ”. However, of the Green River Formation, 70% lie under Federally owned
lands and are not available for recovery under current restrictions.
–Natural Gas – EIA reports a total of 23.57 billion barrels of liquid natural gas and 1,430.63 trillion
cubic feet of dry natural gas.7 That is enough natural gas to heat every home in the United States
for at least the next 150 years, but we cannot access it all – 750 trillion cubic feet are in Federal
1 Source:Energy Information Administration,“Crude Oil Basic Statistics ”,July 2007.
3 Renewable Energy is defined as conventional hydro-electric powe ,biomass, geothermal, solar and wind.
4 Source:Energy Information Administration,“Annual Energy Review 2006 ”,June 2007
5 “Gauging the Prospects of a U.S.Shale Oil Industry ”,RAND Corporation report,2005.
6 20 million barrels a day of US petroleum consumption includes 15.64 million barrels a day of crude oil.
7 “Annual Energy Review 2006 ”