The US Energy Independence Myth?

Guy I know says to me, “America was never energy independent, Big Red Car. It’s all just a myth. Fake news.” His chin is out, his face is slightly red, and his tone is provocative. In spite of all of that, I can detect he doesn’t quite believe his own malarkey.

“Really?” says I. “American energy independence is just a myth?”

He is a good friend, but taken to embracing leftist thoughts and believes I am a right wing radical myself. But, we have been friends for a long time, so we always resist the temptation to cancel each other.

“Yep. There is no proof,” says my amigo. Now, he looks quite pleased with himself. Takes a sip of his coffee and waits for me to respond. Meanwhile I am thinking through my response, committed to making it short, evidence-based, and conclusive.

“What if I could show you unequivocally that the US had massive crude oil production under the former regime and that it has diminished dramatically under the current regime?”

He laughed. It was a bitter laugh and didn’t befit him.

“Take your best shot,” he says and I do.

So, I showed him this graph:

The graph depicts American crude oil production in thousands of barrels per day over the time period of 2016 to today. It comes from a site called

On the left side, we see crude oil production at 8,500,000 barrels per day (Nov 2016, Election Day, Trump wins) and at the peak (Feb 2021, week after Biden Inauguration) we see crude oil production at 13,100,000 barrels per day. That is an increase of 4,600,000 barrels per day which is 54%. That ain’t chopped liver, pal.

That increase is, of course, evidence of why we stopped importing foreign oil — we were producing more than enough crude oil for ourselves domestically. Hence, the proof of American energy independence.

The peak production was during the first full week of the Biden administration during which President Biden announced a series of  measures that were patently anti-energy. Amongst them were things like:

 1. Cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline,

 2. Discontinuing leasing, auctions, drilling on Federal oil lands (on and offshore), and

 3. Killing even the thought of drilling in ANWR.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it is the high points that sent a shockwave through the industry, an industry that operates on sentiment. When the sentiment changed, the industry changed.

All of the aforementioned measures were drivers of production and energy industry sentiment during the Trump admin.

From that high point of 13,100,000 barrels per day production plummeted to 9,700,000 barrels per day in August of 2021. This was a reduction of how much production?

That would be 3,400,000 barrels per day or 26%.

This chart demonstrates conclusively the actual numbers that define the loss of energy independence in the United States.

We all know what happened thereafter:

 1. Gasoline prices began to rise and have doubled.

 2. Rising gas prices triggered inflation — every product in America is transported from/to somewhere, so the price of gas is baked into the increasingly more expensive cake — which is now headed for a double digit landing pad.

This is the wages of sin — the results of really bad, ungrounded, knee jerk policy — and demonstrates when the Biden admin squandered US energy independence.

Tell me how I have it wrong?

[Even my friend admitted it seemed to be a substantial argument. What do you think?]

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be well. Have a great weekend.

“I screwed the pooch. How the Hell am I going to fix this? How am I going to get inflation under control? Oh my goodness!”