NSPE Position Statement No. 1763
Approved: April 2011
Oil currently supplies more than 40% of America's energy demands and more than 99% of the fuel used in Americans' automobiles and trucks. Our nation is the world's largest consumer of petroleum but ranks third in crude-oil production. Of the 19.5 million barrels per day (MMbd) of petroleum products the U.S. used in 2008, 12.9 MMbd were imported.
NSPE recognizes that such dependence on foreign oil makes our nation vulnerable to disruptions in oil supply. Such disruptions would impact America's economy and its security.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve can provide an emergency source of crude oil; however, minimizing the impact of long-term disruptions in supply best can be addressed by increasing domestic production of petroleum, using alternative fuels, and increasing the efficiency of automobiles and trucks.
Oil production within the United States is becoming increasingly expensive because much of the easily found and produced oil already has been utilized. It is, however, estimated that for every barrel of oil that flows from our nation's oil fields, nearly two barrels remain in the ground.
NSPE supports research and development efforts led by the Department of Energy to develop improved technology to find and produce this "left behind" oil. As such, NSPE supports the DOE National Petroleum Technology Office's development of new exploration, drilling, and production processes.
NSPE supports responsible exploration and development of resources on the coastal plain of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and continued offshore oil production that is environmentally sound and safe.