It’s not just possible, it’s happening… The United States is already overtaking Russia to become the largest oil and gas producer in the world.

This question appeared on the latest UT Energy Poll to take the pulse of energy literacy in the U.S. Previous waves reported that most Americans don’t seem to know where we get our oil or what hydraulic fracturing means so asking about domestic oil and gas production provides a way to find out who is paying attention to the energy transition currently underway.

Results reveal that just 16 percent of Americans know that the United States “has already been the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas.” Fifty percent think it is possible (this may include some who are aware it's taking place) while over one-third (34 percent) say it’s not possible.

Libertarians are most likely to know that oil and gas production is up, while Democrats and Independents are least likely say it's possible for the U.S. to become the leading oil and gas producer. Republicans are more likely than other groups to say it's possible, but no more likely to respond that this is already taking place.

Why does it matter whether Americans are following energy issues? Because our attitudes influence how we vote, and eventually shape future policy decisions. The UT Energy Poll continues to provide insight into voting behavior and our global energy priorities, but another key finding is that energy literacy across the U.S. is low.