In key shift, US oil production tops net imports

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first month in nearly two decades, the U.S. in October extracted more oil from the ground than it imported overseas.

It's an important milestone for a nation seeking desperately to wean itself off foreign oil.

Not since 1995 has the U.S produced more oil than it imported. But data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration show the trend lines have finally crossed.

The Obama administration says it's a reflection of policies that promote domestic production while encouraging Americans to use less oil. President Barack Obama has increased fuel economy standards that over time will make cars more efficient.

But industry experts say other factors are at play. The high cost of oil has made it lucrative to ramp up production while a weak economy has lowered demand.