Oil is 85 percent of July Trade Deficit

Americans spent $52.8 billion on imported petroleum in July, twice the amount from a year earlier — and representing 85 percent of the month’s $62.2 billion trade deficit.

“The Congress has been unable to agree on approving renewable energy tax credits costing up to $17 billion over 10 years. Likewise, the Congress has debated the merits and not come to agreement on continuing up to $17 billion over 10 years in tax credits to encourage new oil and gas exploration in the United States. Yet, we’ve spent 3-times that $17 billion amount in just one month on imported oil,” U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar said.

The monthly census bureau trade report showed that the U.S. imported 1 million fewer barrels of oil than July 2007, but the cost of per barrel went from $65.57 in July 2007 to $124.66 in July 2008 ­ the highest ever monthly average. The full trade report is available at:  http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/trade/tradnewsrelease.htm.

For more than a decade, Lugar has stressed the strategic importance of energy security. He just returned from a 15-day energy-focused mission, meeting with critical leaders in Europe to press his case (http://lugar.senate.gov/energy/).  Lugar’s legislative efforts promote sustainable energy production and use, incentives for renewable fuels like cellulosic ethanol and E85, increased fuel economy in cars, and clean coal.