Today the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised up its estimate of second quarter GDP from 1.7 percent to 2.5 percent. This stronger estimate of growth was a result of an upward revision in net exports, with the trade data showing that a key part of the revision is because the trade deficit in petroleum fell to a record low in June. This is yet another reminder that the President’s focus on increasing America’s energy independence is not just a critical national security strategy, it is also part of an economic plan to create jobs, expand growth and cut the trade deficit.
The President established a national goal in 2011 to reduce oil imports by one third by 2020 and elevated the goal in 2012 to reduce them by one half by 2020. We are currently on track to meet this ambitious goal if we continue to follow through on the policies that are critical to achieving it.
There are three basic elements to achieving this goal:
As a result of these changes, in 2012, net petroleum imports had fallen by one-third since 2008 to the lowest level in 20 years. And imports are continuing to fall this year as well. We will shortly be at the point where domestic crude oil production exceeds imports on a sustained basis for the first time since the early 1990s. The increased domestic supply combined with increased oil efficiency of the economy reduces vulnerability to global supply disruptions and price shocks, enhancing our national security.
But among its greatest effects are economic. Every barrel of oil or cubic foot of gas that we produce at home instead of importing from abroad means: