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The United States Gets Most of Its Oil From…

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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..the United States. Have you heard?

Computer scientist and data whiz Randy Olson dove into the UT Energy Poll data and noticed that the American public is pretty confused about where we get out energy. I can’t say I’m surprised, but Randy highlights the need for raising energy literacy across the U.S.

He points out that while these are the top 10 foreign countries that supply oil to the U.S. (based on the latest EIA data):

The general public seems to think things look more like this:

In other words, 3 out of 4 Americans think that the U.S. imports the majority of its oil from somewhere in the Middle East – which probably has something to do with decades of war in that region. Still, as Randy points out, oil from the Middle East comprises only a quarter of U.S. oil imports.

And perhaps, most surprising: 60% of the oil that Americans use is produced in the U.S.

Go read Randy’s terrific blog for more detail and keep in mind that the U.S is now the world’s largest oil producer. Really.

Sheril Kirshenbaum About the Author: Sheril Kirshenbaum is Director of The Energy Poll at The University of Texas at Austin where she works to enhance public understanding of energy issues and improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Follow on Twitter @Sheril_.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. emartens 7:53 pm 09/3/2014

    Wow! World’s largest energy security blanket supplied by the neighbors to the north … North America could be totally self-sufficient … that would cut down on a lot of foreign dependency …

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  2. 2. Wayne Williamson 3:18 pm 09/6/2014

    emartens…what are you referring to. This is just an article about current sources for oil used by the USA….

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  3. 3. hkraznodar 5:54 pm 09/11/2014

    Personally I think we should be importing most of our oil. Oil is used primarily for manufacturing so if we preserve our domestic reserve and use up the rest of the world’s supply then we can dominate the world via being the controllers of industry. Besides, we now know that pumping oil causes land to settle and sink. A noticeable chunk of southern Louisiana has sunk into the gulf due to oil drilling and transport.

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  4. 4. ljr888 4:28 pm 09/28/2014

    This should confirm that the US has no strategic military or economic interest in the Middle East….the opposite of what the US media (and evangelicals) have been propagating for years.

    Link to this

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