Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Energy: Oil trade deficit hurting U.S. Economy

Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO Robbie Diamond issued the following statement today in response to the release of government data showing that the 2008 trade deficit for petroleum and refined products was more than $380 billion, representing more than 56 percent of the entire national trade deficit:

"This week, we once again have been presented with clear and compelling evidence of the tremendous threats posed by our dependence on petroleum, most of it imported. Petroleum and petroleum products represented more than $380 billion of our total $677 billion trade deficit in 2008. In other words, our addiction to oil accounted for more than 56 percent of our entire national trade deficit. This is an unprecedented and unsustainable transfer of wealth to other nations, many of which are hostile to American interests.

"In the long term, the only way to significantly and permanently reduce our oil imports is to significantly and permanently reduce the amount of petroleum we consume, primarily through long-term electrification of the transportation sector. In the meantime, it is crucial that Congress and the president safeguard our economy and national security. Improving fuel efficiency standards is one way to do this. Another vital step, which will reduce our trade deficit and strengthen the dollar, is to take affirmative steps toward the responsible, safe expansion of domestic oil and natural gas production. Ending our dependence on oil is a matter of economic and national security, and we cannot wait any longer."

In September, SAFE's Energy Security Leadership Council -- a distinguished group of business executives and national security leaders led by General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and CEO of FedEx Corporation -- released A National Strategy for Energy Security, a comprehensive set of solutions to the very real threats posed by our nation's dependence on oil.

The National Strategy presents a bold vision: the electrification of our transportation sector, which today accounts for nearly 70 percent of the total oil consumed by the U.S. Because that is a long-term goal, the recommendations also detail the policy steps necessary to reach it while preserving our economic and national security in the short and medium term, including dramatic increases in funding and reforms to our research, development, and deployment system; demand reductions; and an expansion of domestic oil and natural gas production.

Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America's dependence on oil and improve U.S. energy security to bolster national security and strengthen the economy.

Source: Securing America's Future Energy
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
Putting principles before profits