The Other Side of the Dependence on Foreign Oil
Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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The United States economy is dependent on imported oil and a lot of it. For the month of August 2010, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States imported roughly 380 million barrels of crude oil or roughly one out of four barrels produced globally--nearly two-thirds of the amount it consumed--at a cost of just over 29 billion. The costs of this dependency elicit constant calls from within the United States, including from every president since Richard Nixon, to become energy independent and stop what U.S. oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens calls the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind. But while many are aware of this dependency, few are aware of the fact that many of the worlds largest oil exporting countries are just as dependent on selling the oil as the United States is on buying it. If wealth is being transferred out of the U.S., then someone else is receiving that wealth. Due to this relationship, if something were to cause the U.S. and other major industrialized economies to consume less oil it would undoubtedly impact these oil exporting countries in some very serious ways.