The top two exports out of the US in 2012, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, were Fuel Oil (gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and jet fuel) and Petroleum Products. We are now a net exporter of fuels for two years in a row, and it will be very good for our long-term wellbeing as a nation for this to continue.
The reduction in the trade imbalance with the world is helpful in that it reduces our current account deficit (think of it as a nation’s cash flow). Fewer US dollars (USD) flooding into the world helps the USD to hold value. A world flooded with dollars creates inflationary pressures in the US; slowing down the outflow of dollars helps keep those inflationary pressures at bay.
The trend in oil and natural gas helps create jobs in the energy field and in all the support industries, as well as in the hotels, restaurants, food stores, etc., associated with the direct activity. This leads to higher tax revenues and an easing of the financial crisis over time. Let’s hope the EPA and the federal government don’t decide to shut down our burgeoning oil and natural gas industry.
Lastly, I will offer a piece of advice for the President and Congress. Exploration and development of oil and gas have been primarily on private and state lands. This has created a lot of economic energy that is beneficial to the nation. Congress and the White House should use federal lands as an additional economic stimulus that would benefit taxpayers now and in the long-term without the future side effects of quantitative easing. Let businesses lease more land, hire more people, pay more taxes, and keep energy affordable and available here in the US.