It began with the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and has carried on to the present day. At its core, the United States is a nation that is defined by its independent spirit. This independent spirit has led to a constant wave of innovation. From a new form of government to technological advancements, the United States has always been at the forefront of independence and innovation. However, the source that fuels one of these innovations, the automobile, has gone against the country’s independent spirit. For decades, the United States has had a dependence on foreign oil. Luckily, American energy independence and a break from the reliance on foreign oil is an increasingly achievable goal.
To conceptualize just how much oil Americans consume, Investopedia reports that “daily oil production could fit in a cube 107 feet to a side. It would take 73 days to fill Houston’s Reliant Stadium, 84 to fill Dallas’s AT&T Stadium. Or for the most telling superlative of all, the United States consumes the equivalent of 8.77 million barrels of gasoline a day.” In addition to the sheer magnitude of consumption, importing foreign oil has a negative impact on the economy. According to the United States Department of Energy “About one quarter of the oil we use is imported, costing our economy roughly $116 billion in 2014 alone.”
The solution to reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil is simple: consume less gasoline. For the average American, the easiest way to burn less gasoline is by driving a fuel-efficient vehicle. According to the US Energy Information Agency, if new vehicles attained 45 MPG per vehicle, Americans would “reduce our dependence on oil by more than 2 million barrels per day.” Simply put, fuel efficient vehicles are the key to reducing the United States’ addiction to foreign oil.
The benefits of attaining energy independence and consuming less gasoline by driving a fuel-efficient vehicle are universal. The economy at large benefits and consumers will save significantly at the pump. Additionally, driving a fuel-efficient vehicle will burn less gasoline, which has a tremendously positive impact on the environment.
The United States is a nation built on the spirit of independence. Yet, despite this autonomous foundation, it remains dependent on foreign countries for a sizable percentage of its gasoline. CNN Money believes that “U.S. energy independence looks ‘tantalizingly close’.” Americans can get closer to this ultimate goal by placing an emphasis on fuel-efficient vehicles and consuming less gasoline. By doing so, Americans can leave dependency behind and revive its independent spirit.