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Demand for Foreign Oil At Lowest Point in 15 Years.

by Natalie Pace.

Wonder which President is responsible for today's astronomically high gas prices? Get 11 key facts on exactly when gas prices spiked and what the primary factor was.

August 30, 2012

President Barack Obama and former First Lady Nancy Reagan walk side-by-side through Center Hall in the White House. To the left of Mrs. Reagan hangs her official White House portrait as First Lady. June 2, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

There is a lot of misinformation shared freely across social networks with regard to gas prices, fuel costs, drilling our way to energy autonomy and more. Most of the debate is bereft of actual data and statistics, which is what this article provides. This is not intended to influence your choice, but rather to clean up the debate by fueling it with real data, not speculation, assumption and outright lies.

1. Energy Independence: Less Oil Imported in 2012 Than in 15 Years - So far in 2012, the U.S. has imported less oil than at any time over the last 15 years (during the entire George W. Bush Administration). You have to go all the way back to 1997 to find a year when the U.S. imported less oil.

U.S. Imports of Crude Oil
Not Seasonally Adjusted

Year

Quantity in barrels (Jan. - June)

2012

1,573,029,000

2008

1,787,933,000

2004

1,902,607,000

2000

1,674,108,000

1999

1,616,337,000

1998

1,609,336,000

1997

1,464,233,000


Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

2. Energy Consumption: Oil Imports 11% Lower Under President Obama Than Bush Administration - Under the Obama Administration, oil imports are 11% lower than during President George W. Bush's second term in office (and 10% lower, on average, than both terms).

U.S. Imports of Crude Oil
Not Seasonally Adjusted

Year

Quantity in barrels

(Jan. - Dec.)

2012

On track to be below 1998

2011

3,321,918,000

2010

3,377,077,000

2009

3,314,787,000

2008

3,590,628,000

2007

3,690,568,000

2006

3,734,226,000

2005

3,754,671,000

2004

3,820,979,000

2003

3,676,005,000

2002

3,418,022,000

2001

3,471,067,000

2000

3,399,240,000

1999

3,228,092,000

1998

3,242,712,000

1997

3,069,431,000


Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

3. Fiscal Responsibility: President Barack Obama's Administration Spent Hundreds of Billions Less on Oil Imports Than President George W. Bush

In 2008, under President George W. Bush, the U.S. spent $10.3 billion more importing oil than was spent in 2011. The savings in 2009 and 2010, under President Obama's leadership, was even more pronounced, at $153 billion and $90 billion, respectively.

Cost of U.S. Imports of Oil

Year

Quantity in barrels
(Jan. - Dec.)

Total Cost

2011

3,321,918,000

$331,582,054,000

2010

3,377,077,000

$252,160,511,000

2009

3,314,787,000

$188,711,775,000

2008

3,590,628,000

$341,912,489,000


Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

4. Cost Savings: President Obama's Administration Spent Hundreds of Billions Less on All-Energy Related Petroleum Products Than President George W. Bush

In 2008, under President George W. Bush, the U.S. spent $17.5 billion more importing all energy-related petroleum products than was spent in 2011. The savings in 2009 and 2010, under President Obama's leadership, was even more pronounced, at $193 billion and $115 billion, respectively.

U.S. Imports of Total Energy Related Petroleum Products

Year

Quantity in barrels
(Jan. - Dec.)

Total Cost

2011

4,164,178,000

$421,222,815,000

2010

4,279,526,000

$323,763,355,000

2009

4,266,007,000

$245,690,140,000

2008

4,613,444,000

$438,686,820,000


Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

5. Price Gouging at the Pump: The Price of Oil More Than Tripled Under President George W. Bush - Between 2000 and 2008, under the administration of President George W. Bush, the price of oil increased 3.6 times, going from an average price per barrel of $26.44 in 2000 to $95.22/barrel in 2008. The all-time high price of oil was set in the summer of 2008, when oil reached $147/barrel and gas prices soared to $4.11, on average, nationwide (source Energy Information Administration). By comparison, oil prices have increased only 11% since President Obama took office.

Oil Price Per Barrel

Year

Price per Barrel of Oil

2012

$105.64

2011

$99.82

2010

$74.67

2009

$56.93

2008

$95.22

2007

$64.28

2006

$58.01

2005

$46.81

2004

$34.48

2003

$26.98

2002

$22.61

2001

$21.40

2000

$26.44


Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Another key difference is that the price increase under President Bush had a lot to do with increased demand in the U.S. Today, the U.S. demand for oil and petroleum products is as low as it was 15 years ago, and oil prices are elevated as a result of supply side concerns -- particularly the Civil Wars in so many Middle Eastern countries that began in 2011 -- and the increased demand for oil in developing countries, like China and India.

President Barack Obama walks in the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn, Aug. 3, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

6. It Takes a Lot of Oil to Fight Two Wars - How is it that we are importing so much less oil and petroleum products and spending far less in 2012 than when President George W. Bush was in office? Ending the War in Iraq certainly helped. The net fuel sales in Iraq this fiscal year (so far) are 55 million gallons, compared to 538 million gallons in 2009. When war breaks out, oil consumption spikes, and conversely, when war ends, there is a reduction in oil consumption. President George W. Bush fought two wars while in office; whereas President Obama ended the War in Iraq and eliminated Osama bin Laden.

DLA Energy Net Fuel Sales in Iraq* by Fiscal Year (Oct. -- Sept.)

Fiscal Year

Millions of Gallons

FY09

538.18

FY10

407.24

FY11

289.66

FY12

55.04


Source: Defense Logistics Agency

7. Domestic Oil Production Increased - What is even more surprising is that oil production has increased under the Obama Administration. This has also contributed to lower demand for oil and petroleum product imports.

Year

Crude Oil Production
Barrels per Day

2011

5,658,000

2010

5,479,000

2009

5,353,000

2008

5,000,000

2007

5,077,000

2006

5,089,000

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

8. The Leading Producer of Natural Gas - Since 2009, the U.S. has also become the leading producer of natural gas. Natural gas contributes 25% of U.S. power to the grid. Renewable energy has almost doubled, to 13% of the grid's power.

9. Dramatic Shift in U.S. Citizens Appetite For Oil - High oil and gasoline prices dramatically changed the American public's appetite for gas guzzling vehicles. As a result of having to purchase gas at $4.11 in 2008, a lot of U.S. citizens took public transportation, purchased fuel-efficient cars, and some, like my dad, even started riding bikes! Two days ago, on August 28, 2012, the Obama Administration finalized new fuel economy standards of achieving 54.5 MPG for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025.  Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, and Volvo, as well as the United Auto Workers, were all a part of the initial agreement, which was announced in July of 2011.

10. The Correlation Between War and Oil Consumption - War can even keep oil demand high in a recession. In 2001, the U.S. was suffering economically from the Dot Com boom/bust and 9.11. Yet, due to the invasion of Afghanistan, oil imports increased that year by 72 million barrels. By the time of the Iraqi Invasion on March 19, 2003, the U.S. was importing 277 million more barrels of oil each year than when President Clinton was in office. Peak demand for oil imports continued through the first 13 months of the Great Recession -- at a time when gas prices were higher than they had ever been -- while President George W. Bush was still in office, due to the fuel needs of fighting two wars.

War, Recession and U.S. Imports of Crude Oil

Year

Quantity in Barrels
(Jan. - Dec.)

Invasion/Withdrawal

Recessions

President

2012

5% lower than 2011

Occupation of Afghanistan.

Obama

2011

3,321,918,000

Occupation of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011.

Obama

2010

3,377,077,000

U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq on August 18, 2010. Occupation of Afghanistan.

Obama

2009

3,314,787,000

U.S. downsizes forces in Iraq. Occupation of Afghanistan.

Dec. 2007-June 2009

Obama

2008

3,590,628,000

Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan

Dec. 2007-June 2009

Bush

2007

3,690,568,000

Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan

Dec. 2007-June 2009

Bush

2006

3,734,226,000

Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan

Bush

2005

3,754,671,000

Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan

Bush

2004

3,820,979,000

Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan

Bush

2003

3,676,005,000

U.S. invades Iraq March 19, 2003.

Bush

2002

3,418,022,000

Afghanistan Occupation

Bush

2001

3,471,067,000

U.S. invades Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001.

March 2001-Nov. 2001

Bush

2000

3,399,240,000

No war.

No recession.

Clinton

1999

3,228,092,000

No war.

No recession.

Clinton

1998

3,242,712,000

No war.

No recession.

Clinton

1997

3,069,431,000

No war.

No recession.

Clinton


Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Bureau of Economic Research

The trend reversed in 2009 with our scale down of the Iraqi War, our pullout of Iraq on August 18, 2010, the capture (elimination) of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, and a new public appetite for fuel-efficient cars and trucks.

11. An All-Out, All of the Above Strategy to Reduce our Dependence on OIl - President Obama's mandate that all of his cabinets and departments have "An All-Out, All of the Above Strategy to Reduce our Dependence on Oil" lies at the heart of the impressive reductions in oil imports and the leaps forward in energy independence in the U.S. Sharon Burke, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs, said it best in her testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on March 29, 2012.

As long as the United States depends on oil, the price we all pay at the pump will be driven by a volatile, global market. For DoD, that means unpredictable fuel bills that crowd out other investment – every dollar hike in the price of oil per barrel raises our bill by $130 million. More to the point, DoD must take into account the destabilizing effects of global energy wealth and poverty, the resource competition resulting from rising demand in growing economies, and with 89% of oil exports moving by sea, the need to secure the global commons. The President’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future seeks to change that calculus by taking steps to stabilize today’s energy economy while investing in the innovation that will allow us to displace the primacy of oil in our national and military energy security.

Consider this. If we drove electric cars, rode our bikes to work used canvas bags and video conferenced a few meetings (instead of flying), then we could furnish our own oil, instead of making totalitarians in the Middle East rich. Why does the debate focus so much on drill drill drill, baby, instead of self-reliance (which could happen almost overnight) if we simply kicked our oil habit? And why would anyone be worried about spending $27.2 billion developing homegrown energy products, when we are giving away 15 times that amount -- $421.2 billion -- for oil and petroleum imports annually to nations that are not that friendly to us?

If you would like to comment on this article, feel free to, once it appears on my HuffingtonPost blog.

 

About Natalie Pace:
Natalie Pace is the author of You Vs. Wall Street and Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is. (The paperback and hard cover of her first book, respectively.) She is the founder and CEO of the Women’s Investment Network, LLC (a global financial news, information and education site), where she has been adding a splash of green to Wall Street and transforming lives on Main Street for more than a decade. Natalie is a blogger on HuffingtonPost.com
and a repeat guest on national television and radio shows such as Good Morning America, Fox News, CNBC, ABC-TV, Forbes.com, NPR and more. As a strong believer in giving back, she has been instrumental in raising tens of millions for public schools, financial literacy, the arts and underserved women and girls worldwide. Follow her on Twitter.com/NataliePace and Facebook.com/NWPace. For more information please visit NataliePace.com.

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