As Americans, we are dependent on our cars to get us from point A to point B. Before gas prices hit four dollars a gallon, no one was concerned where the oil came from as long as it was there and we had an unlimited supply available. Today, the demand for oil is so high that domestic production cannot keep up. Now we are forced to seek oil from foreign countries. The problem now is that the economy, being as it is, has forced the price per barrel to go up, in turn making the price of gas go up. With the dramatic rise in gas prices, the American people have started to change habits in order to save a penny here and there. Even businesses have to make adjustment in order to keep a workforce. Will the high price of gas change the American way of life?
Today, the United States is the largest consumer of oil in the world. On average, the United States consumes 20.7 million barrels of oil a day (EIA, 2008) but we are the world’s third largest producer of oil (EIA, 2008). The United States produces 5.1 million barrels of oil a day and 3.6 million barrels from various other sources but there is a 13.5 million barrel shortfall (EIA, 2008). This information allows us to conclude that the United States produces 10% of the world’s oil but consumes 24% (EIA, 2008).
The United States is 42% independent on energy but the remaining 58% comes from foreign countries (EIA, 2008). What is interesting is that 49% of the oil imported into the United States comes from the western hemisphere, not from the Persian Gulf (EIA, 2008). The United States only receives 16% of its oil imports from the Persian Gulf (EIA, 2008). The Largest foreign source of oil for the United States is Canada and Mexico (EIA, 2008), but it seems any negative news from the Middle East raises gas prices. This is disheartening considering gas prices have gone up 104.8% in the last year (EIA, 2008).
There is little doubt that the
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