While visiting Brazil this week, President Obama stated at a business summit that the U.S. supports Brazil's efforts to develop the offshore oil discovered there, adding: "When you're ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers. At a time when we've been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy."
In response, Investor's Business Daily accused Obama of wanting "to increase our dependency on foreign oil," while areas in the U.S. remain off-limits. Fox Nation promoted the IBD editorial with the headline: "Obama Tells Brazil: U.S. Wants to Be Dependent on Foreign Oil":
However, the facts tell quite a different story:
- The U.S. Energy Information Administration has estimated that even if the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico were all opened up to drilling, by 2030 the U.S. would still be importing 41 percent of the oil we use.
- The U.S. is the third largest crude oil producer in the world. We're also the world's largest consumer of petroleum and, according to EIA statistics, we imported more than half of our petroleum supplies in 2009.
- Of the crude oil we imported in 2009, only 3.3 percent came from Brazil. By contrast, 10.8 percent came from Saudi Arabia, 10.6 percent came from Venezuela and 8.6 percent came from Nigeria, all of which are OPEC Countries.
- The U.S. currently produces over 2.5 times more oil than Brazil.
- Obama has said "we need to continue to boost domestic production of oil and gas" in the U.S., while cautioning that expanded drilling will not solve our long-term energy challenge.
As EIA data and analysis shows, the U.S. consumes so much oil (no other nation even comes close) that even if we opened up all of our coasts to drilling, we would still need to rely on oil produced abroad to meet our demand. Apparently, IBD and Fox don't want those imports to come from Brazil.