Actually, America Isn’t ‘Energy Independent.’ (And That’s a Good Thing.)

Dear Capitolisters,

After last week’s deep dive into supply chains, recent events give us a great real-world example of the benefits of economic openness and the costs of isolationism. (So pardon me in advance for covering some of the same stuff two weeks in a row.) In particular, the following chart and headline—increasingly relevant given Ukraine, global energy markets, and your local gas station—caught my attention last week, though less for what it said and more for what it didn’t

On the former issue, it’s hardly big news that the “shale revolution” here dramatically changed domestic and global oil markets, with the United States taking over the global lead in the production of both crude oil and other liquid petroleum products like gasoline and diesel:

As the first Axios chart shows, by 2020 the total volumes of U.S. petroleum products production and consumption were basically even, and, following decades of talk about “energy independence” and stuff, that may very well be a big deal… politically. 

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