A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a branch of the Department of Energy, shows that imports of crude oil have fallen since 2005. Several factors have contributed to the drop in imports over the years, including political tension with the Middle East and a new focus on alternative energy and efficiency. The report indicates that in 2011, oil imports hit the lowest point they have been since 1999.
According to the report, oil imports have dropped by 12% since 2005. In recent years – 2009 and beyond – the federal government has been focusing on alternative energy and domestic oil production. This focus, coupled with dropping demand for oil, has had a major impact on imports and will likely to affect the trend in the future. Though oil imports are dropping, the report shows that the cost of oil is skyrocketing: Reaching nearly $110 per barrel in 2011.
The report suggests that oil will continue to become more expensive in the near future. This may further spur the nation’s pursuit of alternative energy, but the cost of more expensive oil is likely to reach consumers in the meantime. Higher oil prices mean higher gas prices for drivers. Currently, the national average is hovering around $3.80 per gallon, but the EIA expects gas to become more expensive in the coming months. This is becoming more of a reality as tensions with the Middle East grow.