Over half of the oil we use in the U.S. is imported, and our dependence will increase as we use up domestic resources. Most of the world's oil reserves are concentrated in the Middle East, and about two-thirds are controlled by OPEC members. Oil price shocks and price manipulation by OPEC have cost the U.S. economy dearly, and each major shock was followed by a recession.
We may never eliminate our need to import, but we can help the situation by reducing our demand. Congress has passed legislation to decrease U.S. dependence on oil by increasing corporate average fuel economy standards on new cars and trucks to 35 mpg by model year 2020, which could reduce petroleum use by 25 billion gallons by 2030. Other technological progress needs be made, like creating new energy sources that can replace petroleum cleanly and cost-effectively. (Source: Fueleconomy.gov / Photo: Flickr)