In what is presumably an attempt to distract everyone from the Obamacare debacle, the White House released an infographic this week sharing a big milestone in U.S. energy security. For the first time in almost 20 years, the U.S. is producing more oil domestically than it’s importing from foreign sources–and, as we reported recently, the U.S. is now also the biggest oil producer in the world.
This is a big deal, mainly because it means that we no longer have to rely on nations that don’t subscribe to the moral code of the U.S. But it’s also a mixed blessing. While the infographic touts better gas mileage and the rise of biofuels as contributors to this statistic, the real reason why we can produce so much oil is because of the shale oil boom. Shale oil extraction is especially harsh on the environment, and the boom won’t even last that long. According to the International Energy Agency, the world will once again rely mostly on oil from the Middle East by 2020.
There is some legitimately good news in the infographic. CO2 emissions from the transportation sector are the lowest the have been in 10 years.
And CO2 emissions in general are dropping, even as the economy is growing. This is thanks in large part to better vehicle fuel efficiency along with the rise of natural gas power (which is cleaner than coal) and wind power.
Check out the full infographic below.