A recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted fracking as a way to reduce American dependence on Middle Eastern oil. But Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum points out that we don’t rely all that much on Arab oil, and fracking is almost beside the point.
… Oil consumption has dropped nearly 2 million barrels per day since 2007. Over the same period, U.S. imports of oil have dropped 2.1 million barrels per day.
So how much oil do we import from the Persian Gulf? Answer: in 2007 we imported 2.1 million barrels per day, about 10% of our total consumption. The fact is that we’ve never heavily relied on Persian Gulf oil, and if we had chosen to, we could have cut Middle East imports to zero based solely on our drop in consumption over the past few years. Far from trying to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, we’ve made a conscious decision to keep buying it.