The US is one of the largest producers and consumers of energy in the world. Though our economy relied on wood for fuel in our earliest years, with the development of the industrial revolution America began its love affair with fossil fuels. Out of necessity to fuel the growing economy of the first half of the twentieth century, we began consuming energy from primarily coal, oil, and natural gas. Over time we have also adopted nuclear and hydroelectric resources, though they represent a small fraction of our overall energy usage today.
Using the EIA 2009 figures, 83% of all energy consumption in the US came from fossil fuels. This heavy reliance upon these resources cannot be supplied from our local resources, and so America turns to the rest of the globe to help provide fuel for our economy.
For the last three decades, we have lived with an energy deficit as pictured to the right. Because we cannot produce enough energy to satisfy the needs of the nation and our citizens, we import the balance. This equates to billions of dollars spent of bringing in the fuel to fill the void.