U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil Lowest Since 1995?
Here’s a lovely example of how context matters. Mark Perry presents the graph at right and says “dependence on foreign oil has fallen to 46.3% this year (average through September) and is the lowest in 16 years, since the 45.4% share in 1996.”
As always, the question first to mind is “So what?”
And the answer here, as it is so often: “Not much.”
Fact is that an enormous amount of the import share is explained by the level of U.S. consumption. So as petroleum consumption has declined 9% since 2005, due to higher prices and a weaker economy, so too has our need to import petroleum to meet our needs.
Shocking, right? The chart’s below.