Does America Have Enough Oil To Sustain Itself?

By Antonia ńĆirjak on June 16 2020 in World Facts

Ever since the 1950s, oil has become the most important energy source on our planet.
Ever since the 1950s, oil has become the most important energy source on our planet.
  • The United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the world's largest petroleum supply.
  • 30 million barrels were released from the Strategic Oil Reserves in 2011 to balance the increase in fuel prices.
  • In the case of political conflict, the reserve would provide around 70 days of protection.

Ever since the 1950s, oil has become the most important energy source on our planet. It is the backbone of our society because it supplies the energy to heat our homes, drive our cars, and fly our planes. Because of its great importance in our everyday lives, it is safe to say that the entire world is affected by oil and the prices of oil are a reflection of the happening in the world economy.

Energy independence is primarily about oil and the greater the self-sufficiency of the country is, there will be fewer supply disruptions and reliance on other countries for security. Is this a good long-term solution?

How Much Oil Does The United States Of America Have?

The United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the world's largest petroleum supply. It is stored in various underground tanks in the Gulf Coast region and it has the capacity of more than 700 million barrels. This reserve is what we refer to when we talk about oil sustainability in America. It was started due to the 1973 oil crisis when oil supplies were interrupted in order to secure the future of the United States.

Currently, it is not so easy to imagine a scenario that would leave the United States without oil. When a country releases oil from reserves it is mostly due to a strategy of replenishing resources.

Currently, it is not so easy to imagine a scenario that would leave the United States without oil.
Currently, it is not so easy to imagine a scenario that would leave the United States without oil.

For example, 30 million barrels were released from the Strategic Oil Reserves in 2011 to balance the increase in fuel prices. Many disagreed with this decision because they believed it to be a bad way to handle the reserves which are supposed to be a measure for protecting the country in case of an emergency. How long will these barrels last? The United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a reliable solution for short-term crisis and there would need to be a scenario of catastrophic proportions for the United States to lose all of their oil reserves.

In the case of political conflict, the reserve would provide around 70 days of protection. Due to the economic collapse from COVID-19 coronavirus, Donald Trump gave a directive to fill the reserve to maximum capacity (by buying 77 million barrels of American-made oil) to support domestic oil producers.

Is Energy Independence A Good Goal For The United States?

Many people do not believe that energy and oil independence is a realistic goal due to the difficulty of dividing foreign and domestic sources of oil. It is hard to believe that oil independence will remove the involvement of the United States in the Middle East because terrorism is not reliant on money provided by oil. Certain "politically unstable" regions will resume being powered by other consumers of oil despite the energy independence of America.

Also important, many renewable energy sources are inefficient because they require tremendous amounts of government subsidies and cause air pollution. America is a superpower when it comes to world energy, but despite this, America is not completely independent. To obtain energy security, there needs to be a connection with the rest of the world, and for this wee need well-functioning markets and healthy political relationships.

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