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What Will Obama's New Oil Regulations Do To Our Trade Imbalance?

According to various sources across the internet, Americans consume approximately 3.7 billion barrels of oil per year. With a little math we see that's around 10.1 million everyday. If oil were at $40 per barrel, this comes out to $148 billion oil consumed every year. Obama's new regulations were designed to, 'save 2 million barrels of oil per day'. This works out to 8.1 million barrels per day, or about 3.0 billion barrels consumed per year. If oil is at $40 per barrel this is about $120 billion per year.

Our current trade deficit is $-40 billion. If we reduce our oil consumption by 2 million barrels per day, our trade deficit drops ($148b-$120b) $28 billion to only $-12 billion. Not bad, but I we'll need to do better if we want to close that gap.

To eliminate that remaining $12b, we'll need to reduce our yearly consumption of oil by 0.3billion barrels (at $40 per barrel). This is roughly 825,000 barrels per day.

If an increase of 50% in fuel efficiency gives us a savings of 2 million barrels per day, then an additional 25% increase in fuel efficiency will save us an additional 1 million barrels per day. If I'm not mistaken, this is roughly 38.5mpg instead of the currently required 33mpg.

UPDATE 05/19/2009:
Obama has just passed legislation that would increase the CAFE standard to 35.5mpg (42 for cars and 26 for trucks). The news reports that this is roughly 30% higher than the regulations passed earlier this year. Give or take, this ought to come very close to balancing our trade deficit. If we're lucky, it will even put us over the edge.

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