The US is starting to break its “addiction” to foreign oil as high prices, more efficient cars, and the use of ethanol significantly cut the share of its oil imports for the first time since the late seventies.

According to a report in today’s Financial Times, the country’s foreign oil dependency is expected to fall from 60 per cent to 50 per cent in 2015, before rising again slightly to 54 per cent in 2030, according to the head of the Department of Energy’s statistical arm.

The net imports of the world’s biggest consumer are expected to fall between now and 2030, ending what has been an almost relentless 30-year climb in the use of foreign oil and a fall in domestic production.

Guy Caruso, head of the US Energy Information Administration, said that that trend was set to continue as people adjusted to high oil prices and the impact of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which became law in December 2007, was felt.

“The 1970s is the last time we saw any significant decline in net import dependency in the US. It shows that markets do work, policy changes do work, technology does work,” Mr Caruso said.

In 2006, George W. Bush famously said America was “addicted to oil” – and promised to address the issue. Rising oil prices and increase in demand for biofuels and American sliding into recession seem to have started the ball rolling.

How many years before we have a carbon neutral US?

Not in my lifetime…

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