U.S. dependence on imported liquids declines through 2035 in the 2012 Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2012) Reference case projection, primarily as a result of growth in domestic oil production, an increase in biofuels use, and slower growth in consumption of transportation fuels. In this projection, net petroleum imports as a share of total U.S. liquid fuels supplied drop from 49% in 2010 to 36% in 2035.
Net petroleum imports are projected to make up a smaller share of total energy consumption in response to modest economic growth, increased efficiency, growing domestic oil production, and continued adoption of nonpetroleum liquids. Although not included in the Reference case, proposed fuel economy standards for future vehicles (model years 2017 through 2025) would further reduce projected liquids use and the need for imports.
Projections in the Annual Energy Outlook 2012 Reference case assume current laws and regulations remain generally unchanged throughout the projection period, thus serving as a starting point for analysis of energy policies. More highlights from the Reference case, as well as projections for several energy factors through 2035, are available in the AEO2012 Early Release Reference Case Overview and supporting materials.