Fossil Fuel Supply
Petroleum is the most important energy source in the United States. It provides as much as 40 percent of total U.S. energy needs, with the transportation sector depending almost entirely (96%) on petroleum.
According to Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2006 statistics, U.S. petroleum production has decreased by about 35 percent since 1970, whereas consumption has increased by 40 percent.
Between 1970 and 2004, petroleum imports have quadrupled going from approximately 5 to 12 million barrels per day (one barrel equals 42 gallons). Since 1998, the U.S. has imported more than 50 percent of its petroleum and it is expected that petroleum import dependency will increase even further.
Even the large oil reserves in the Persian Gulf have been insufficient to keep up with rising global demand, most of it coming from the Middle East, China, and other Asian countries.