Why We Engage

Each year the U.S. spends $600 billion on oil.

Our oil addiction:

  • halts progress towards democracy and human rights in oil-rich nations and empowers undemocratic regimes to isolate the U.S. and Israel in the international community;
  • undermines our national security by sending billions to support hostile regimes such as Iran, posing a strategic threat to the United States;
  • adds to greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change and environmental damage; and
  • leaves the economy vulnerable to fluctuations in oil prices and supply.

Key Facts:

  • Almost 60 percent of U.S. crude oil and petroleum products are imported.
  • Most of the world's oil reserves are concentrated in the Middle East, and about two-thirds are controlled by OPEC members.
  • Oil is the largest contributor to U.S. CO2 emissions, comprising 42% of total emissions.
  • Oil price shocks and price manipulation by OPEC have cost the U.S. economy about $1.9 trillion from 2004 to 2008-and each major shock was followed by a recession.

For more information:

Richard Foltin
Director, National and Legislative Affairs
foltinr@ajc.org