June 27th, 2008 at 7:00pm
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There’s a raging debate going on in the country about whether we should drill for more oil. Here are some facts to consider in that debate.
The United States is a major producer of oil. We produce about 40 percent of all the oil we use. And we could produce more. It’s estimated there are about 31 billion barrels of proven reserves in the U.S. of untapped crude, and maybe a lot more.
Currently, we import 60 percent, or about 13 million barrels a day, of petroleum products. About 30 percent of our imports come from Canada and Mexico, who are our largest oil suppliers. But 40 percent of our imports come from OPEC countries.
Environmental critics say doing more drilling will not be enough to reduce prices much, and they’re right. But those in favor of energy security point out that if the U.S. did tap that oil, we could cut off all imports from OPEC for the next 16 years. And that’s what this argument is about, balancing the environmental risk against a national security risk.