Oil Imports in 2008

The Center for American Progress has made a map showing US oil imports from “unstable countries.” Brad Plumer studiesthe graphic:

That’s from a new report titled “Oil Dependence is a Dangerous Habit,” which estimates that the United States now spends $1 billion per day on oil imports, with most of that money going to unstable or dangerous regimes (although our two top suppliers are still Mexico and Canada). One thing to note is that, for these purposes, it doesn’t really matter where we’re buying from. Oil’s extremely fungible—even though Iran can’t legally sell crude to the United States, increased demand on our part (or shrinking supply) still benefits the regime in Tehran by driving up overall prices.

So if it doesn’t really matter where we buy oil imports from (and to be sure, I was a bit surprised by some of the countries on the list) why does a map or discussion along these lines matter?  Ultimately, the US is in a bit of an oil catch-22.  The country doesn’t really want to import oil from many of the countries noted above, but it also doesn’t have much of a choice because there is no alternative.  At the same time, one could debate the stability of Mexico.  [via]

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