America will be “tantalizingly close” to being energy independent by the year 2020, according to analysts at the Raymond James (RJ) investment firm.
America imported 65.3 percent of its oil in 2005, according to the RJ analysts, but the U.S. only imported 24.2 percent in 2015. RJ projects the U.S. will import just 11 percent of its daily oil needs by 2020, according to CNN Money. Future oil imports will be met almost entirely by Canada and Mexico.
U.S. oil exports boomed after President Barack Obama signed a bill that repealed the 1970s ban on crude exports. Oil exports is could boost the economy by $38 billion, reduce the trade deficit by $22 billion and add 300,000 new jobs by 2020, according to a study by ICF International and the American Petroleum Institute. Another study by the Aspen Institute estimates that the rapid growth of the U.S. oil industry could allow America to remain the world’s largest oil producer while creating up to 1.48 million jobs.
Importing less oil will give the U.S. more diplomatic leverage, according to RJ, because Americans won’t be beholden to OPEC nations or Russia for energy supplies.
“With respect to oil, the boom in domestic production has occurred thanks to advancements in smart-drilling techniques like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling,” Chris Warren, a spokesperson for the free market Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.