A progress report, delivered to the White House, showcases the Administration's achievements in the areas of a strategy aimed at reducing our reliance on foreign oil, saving families and businesses money at the pump, and positioning the United States as the global leader in clean energy. It was just one year ago the President put forward a comprehensive plan in the Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future.
Highlights of the report include: cutting net imports by 10% in the last year. As a result the United States was a net exporter for the first time in sixty years. Also, during the past year, American oil production reached the highest level in nearly a decade and natural gas production reached an all-time high.
"As the report highlights, we have made progress, with imports of foreign oil decreasing by a million barrels a day in the last year alone," President Obama said. "Our focus on increased domestic oil and gas production, currently at an eight year high, combined with the historic fuel economy standards we put in place, means that we will continue to reduce our nation's vulnerability to the ups and downs of the global oil market. We've also made progress in the expansion of clean energy, with renewable energy from sources like wind and solar on track to double, along with the construction of our first advanced biofuel refineries. And yet, despite the gains we've made, today's high gas prices are a painful reminder that there's much more work to do free ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil and take control of our energy future. And that's exactly what our administration is committed to doing in the months ahead."
The report credits much of the success to new fuel economy standards; improved energy efficiency in homes; increased renewable energy generation and developing advanced, alternative fuels. The report says the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency has supported more than 120 individual projects aimed at achieving new and transformational energy breakthroughs.
Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, challenges the Obama Administration to continue this progress by raising the volume standard for biodiesel next year as the EPA has proposed. Steckel says that thousands of jobs in our industry as well as improved U.S. energy stability depend on that decision.