Trend lines spanning the past decade show a steady increase in oil imports from Canada and a precipitous decline in imports from Africa. Imports from the Mideast have been variable over the 10-year period but have generally declined. Combined, oil production in the United States and Canada is on a steep climb. The Journal reported that price volatility was the lowest last year since at least 2000. So far this year, the daily fluctuation in prices is about half of what it was in the early 2000s.
Increased domestic supply comes with its own set of problems. Adam Wilmoth, The Oklahoman's energy editor, reports that hundreds of new tanks have been built in Cushing to store oil until capacity becomes available in pipelines to move it to refineries. Construction on the Keystone project's southern leg, which Obama enthusiastically endorsed in a 2012 visit to a pipeyard near Cushing, continues apace despite juvenile protests to stop it.
About the same time Obama had his whistle-stop photo op in Payne County, his Republican opponent unveiled his vision for North American energy independence. It was somewhat of a novel concept then, an optimistic view of what could be and should be. Since then, the vision has come much more into focus.
Just as we believe coal should be part of the fuel mix to make electricity, we believe imported oil should be part of the mix to make gasoline. But we should not be dependent on it and we don't have to be.
Increasingly, we aren't.