North American Oil Independence?
U.S. energy independence is not coming anytime soon, but North American energy independence may improve dramatically by the end of the decade, depending on how it’s measured and whether you believe there is such a thing as ‘energy independence.’
The problem with the term ‘energy independence’ is that crude oil is a globally-priced and heavily-traded commodity. This means a country can produce more oil than it uses and still not be protected from volatile prices. Shortages somewhere in the world simply tighten supplies everywhere, making for higher prices.
That said, for the first time since probably the middle of the 20th century, Mexican and Canadian oil imports into the U.S. have exceeded net oil imports, meaning that after subtracting several million barrels a day of refined product exports and oil exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast refinery centers, the U.S. net imports of crude include only its free-trade zone partners.
Hence, ‘NAFTA energy independence’… if that is a thing.