Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich recently pledged reducing gas prices to $2.50 gallon or less, stating that the near-term solution to reducing gas prices is to start drilling for oil in new U.S. sites immediately. But this strategy runs contrary to the U.S. petroleum import/export numbers released this week.
During a campaign speech in Alabama, Gingrich said, "Obama says Republicans only have three strategies to solve the energy problem, and that the first is drilling, the second is drilling and the third is drilling. I want to assure the president that he is right." Gingrich proposes more drilling on the Gulf Coast, in Alaska and in North Dakota on his campaign website and has launched a petition on Facebook called "Drill Here, Drill Now."
Also this week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released its annual report stating that U.S. Petroleum product exports exceeded imports in 2011 for the first time since 1949. Net exports, which is the amount exported minus the amount imported, averaged 0.44 million barrels per day (bb/d) in 2011, while imports were at a nine-year low of nearly 2.4 million bb/d and exports at almost 2.9 million bb/d, a record high.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, who is not seeking re-election, said in a comprehensive speech about high gas prices that while oil production in the U.S. was important, "its contribution to the world oil balance is not sufficient to bring global oil prices down."
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.