Every president since Richard Nixon has pushed to cut U.S. dependence on imported oil, and President Obama is no exception. Now, though, for the first time in 30 years, oil imports are falling in a significant way.
New drilling technologies perfected in the last several years have unlocked enormous domestic reserves of crude oil and natural gas. Policies that mandate increasing use of renewable fuels and better fuel economy for the nation's cars and trucks have helped slash oil and gasoline demand.
That has translated into a dramatic reduction in oil imports and a dramatic increase in diesel and gasoline exports.
Obama wants the country to go much further. But even if the U.S. succeeds in reducing oil imports even more, it won't reduce the price Americans pay at the pump because oil and gasoline are global commodities.
The campaign promise:
"We can cut our oil imports in half by 2020," Obama told the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 6, 2012. That would mean net imports of crude and fuels would sink to 3.7 million barrels per day by the end of the decade, from 7.4 million barrels per day last year.