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We must compete in business of oil

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GRETCHEN GENRICH
June 10, 2011
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is among commentaries written by students in the Washington Seminar program at Janesville Parker High School. The seminar is for students in the advanced placement U.S. government course taught by Joe Van Rooy.

With the recently rising gas prices, it is hard to believe America continues to import thousands of gallons of foreign oil per day.


In recent years, an estimated 1.5 billion barrels of oil per year were imported from more than 40 countries, including Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Nigeria and Venezuela. Contrary to popular belief, we actually receive the majority of our oil from non-OPEC countries. Only about 20 percent comes from OPEC.


Behind our exceedingly growing concern for U.S. dependency on oil in general is an even greater concern, specifically for our dependency on foreign oil. Although we import mass amounts of oil, the U.S. produces 5.46 million barrels per day from offshore drilling regions. Of those offshore numbers, 1.73 million barrels per day are produced in the Gulf of Mexico and 19,000 barrels per day in Louisiana and Texas. We cannot throw away these enormous numbers.


“We have an over 100-year supply, much of which is unexplored,” Congressman Paul Ryan stated.


Of course, the U.S. should be working on creating more efficient alternate forms of energy, but it is impossible to cut oil out of our lives entirely. The U.S. needs to continue to retrieve oil from domestic sources versus foreign, unstable countries. Not only would we receive oil at a more inexpensive price, but it would create jobs, which boosts the economy.


“Economic growth,” Ryan says, “continues to go down the longer we rely on foreign oil.”


The minds of those against offshore drilling will be changed once the long-term effects of drilling within our country’s limits have taken place and gas prices have been cut. The U.S. needs to be a competitive part of the oil business if we ever plan to halt our dependency on foreign oil.



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