Has the US lost its ‘energy independence’ under Biden?

Monday, March 14, 2022
By Austin Tannenbaum

The metric commonly used for energy independence is net exports of oil: crude purchased abroad minus crude sold abroad. After achieving energy independence in 2020, the U.S. maintained it in 2021, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The U.S. has never been truly energy independent; it has never fulfilled all its energy needs with domestic supplies. While the U.S. produces enough oil in theory to satisfy its needs, it's often cheaper to import oil from abroad. Additionally, some crude produced domestically is more suitable for export to foreign refineries.

Current oil market pressures are attributable to pandemic-related supply shortages combined with rebounding post-lockdown demand along with the recent U.S. embargo on Russian oil.

Biden's efforts to prioritize renewables over fossil fuels may reduce future domestic oil supplies, but efforts to develop alternatives could lessen reliance on imported oil.

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