According to data collected and reported by Bloomberg News, the “U.S. is the closest it has been in almost 20 years to achieving energy self-sufficiency”. In the first 10 months of 2011, 81% of U.S. energy demand was met by domestic sources, up from a record low of 70% in 2005. If the 2011 numbers are accurate, this would be the highest proportion of U.S. energy demand met by domestic sources since 1992.

This upward trend in energy self-sufficiency is due in large part to increased oil and natural gas development, and low natural gas prices. “Domestic oil output is the highest in eight years. The U.S. is producing so much natural gas that, where the government warned four years ago of a critical need to boost imports, it now may approve an export terminal.” Other factors include improved vehicle fleet fuel efficiency.

This trend, according to the Bloomberg piece, “could see the country become the world’s top energy producer by 2020.”

What are the implications of this trend? Is energy self-sufficiency the same thing as energy security? How does this movement toward energy self-sufficiency, as described by the Bloomberg piece, interact with other energy policy goals: economic growth, the environment, energy security, etc.?

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