Bloomberg News

Perry Oil Independence Goal Eluded 8 Presidents: BGOV Barometer

October 20, 2011

(Editors: This Bloomberg Government feature moved earlier and is being made available to newspapers today.)

(GRAPHICS: BGOV_BAROMETER_102011. Size: 2C X 4in. (96.0 mm X 101.6 mm) Expected by 15:00.; BGOV_LOGO_ 072511. Size: 1C X 2in. (45.9 50.8 mm) Available now.)

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Texas Governor Rick Perry’s pledge to bring the U.S. “energy independence” risks running afoul of realities that have undermined similar calls by eight presidents during more than three decades.

The BGOV Barometer shows that even if the U.S. increases domestic oil production by 25 percent, as Perry has pledged, the nation would still be importing more than one-third of the crude oil and other liquid fuels it consumes in 2035.

In the Bloomberg News/Washington Post Republican presidential debate Oct. 11, Perry called for an “American Declaration of Independence” on energy.

Perry referred to a plan, outlined earlier in the day in an op-ed in the New Hampshire Union Leader, that he said would create 1.2 million jobs by returning drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico to 2007 levels, expanding drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off Alaska, and allowing drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Perry said his plan would increase domestic oil production by 25 percent and “reduce our dependence on hostile foreign energy.”

During the debate, Perry went further, saying “it’s time for energy independence.”

Presidents from Richard M. Nixon to Barack Obama have made similar declarations and none has come close to delivering. Between 1992 and 2010, the U.S. has depended on imports for 40 to 60 percent of its liquid-fuel consumption.

If Perry succeeded in increasing domestic oil production by 25 percent, the nation’s domestic supply still would fall far short of liquid-fuel consumption, based on data compiled by Bloomberg from projections by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Reliance on Imports

The EIA projects the U.S. would rely on imports for about 42 percent of its liquid-fuel consumption in 2035, down from about 50 percent currently. The increase in domestic output Perry envisions would still leave the country importing 35 percent of its needs in 2035, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The major obstacle to energy independence is that no one has found a domestic source of transportation fuel as cheap and efficient as gasoline made from oil. The largest domestic oil alternative, corn-based ethanol, displaces only 7 percent of gasoline because of its relatively low energy content. Other technologies have yet to be developed on a commercial scale at a competitive price.

--Editors: Mark Rohner, Jim O’Connell

-0- Oct/20/2011 15:48 GMT

To contact the writers: Richard Heidorn in Washington at; and Tony Costello in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Richard Heidorn in Washington at

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