American consumers use many kinds of energy every day, but the debate over energy independence focuses almost exclusively on only one: transportation fuel.
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While the country is importing oil, it is not experiencing a shortage of refined products.
In 2011, about 29 percent of the country’s total energy usage came from oil imported from outside North America. That amounts to about 5.4 million barrels of oil per day.
Over the past 15 years, the country’s refinery capacity has gradually increased to 17.2 million barrels per day as refineries have expanded. The country’s refinery utilization rates are cyclical, peaking in the summer and falling through the winter. Over the past year, utilization topped out at nearly 93 percent in July, up from 86 percent in February.
SOURCE: U.S. Energy Information Administration