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U.S. edging toward energy independence

A new oil boom in western North Dakota has produced thousands of jobs and helped the U.S. take a step closer to breaking its addiction to foreign sources of energy. Here an oil well is being drilled near Tioga, North Dakota.

The Pulse is up sharply today on news that America is edging closer to energy independence. After 20 years of deepening reliance on foreign sources, domestic energy production has surged in just the last half decade to 81 percent of what we consume.

A study by Bloomberg attributes the sharp tack toward independence in large part to a combination of new oil- and gas-drilling technologies that have unearthed vast energy deposits trapped beneath American soil.

We're also getting more fuel-efficient. In 1978, Americans’ cars got 19.9 miles per gallon on average, but by 2011, that had risen to 29.6 mpg. If automakers stick to the deal they recently struck with the Obama administration, by 2025 the average new car will be getting 54.5 mpg.

The report doesn't spend much time on the role of renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.) in our future.

While the study imagines the U.S. becoming the biggest energy producer on earth by 2020, total independence might still be a way off. Bloomberg quotes Philip Verleger, a former director of the office of energy policy at the Treasury Department and founder of PKVerleger LLC, a consulting firm in Aspen, Colo., as saying, “We aren’t there yet, but it looks like we’re blundering into a solution for the energy problem.”

About the author

Joel Patterson is the Associate Producer of Marketplace Money.

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