Fact-checking President Trump’s claim U.S. is “oil and gas independent"

President Donald Trump says the U.S. is oil independent.

“We are now the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. We are independent and we do not need Middle East oil,” said President Donald Trump.

He said this after calling for more economic penalties, or rather sanctions, instead of war against Iran.

Action News Jax set out to learn if in fact U.S. oil independent.

Dr. Ellen Wald is a professor at Jacksonville University and a well-known expert on the Middle East and world energy markets.

“I wouldn’t go as far as to say were oil and natural gas independent, but we are however energy secure,” said Dr. Wald.

She says the US is the largest oil producer in the world, saying we are no longer dependent on foreign oil like in years past.

But since oil is a global market, our gas prices change based on world events like the dozen or more missiles Iran launched on airbases housing US troops on Tuesday.

“The oil prices spiked about 4 percent right when the missiles were being shot from Iran to the bases in Iraq, but then afterward throughout the early morning hours, even after President Donald Trump‘s address, oil went down more than 5 percent.”

So despite the roughly 12 million barrels of oil we produce every day, the oil industry is still subject to spikes and dips within 24 hour periods.

And as far as sanctions go, well Dr. Matthew Corrigan, a dean and political science professor at Jacksonville University, says that’s nothing new since the Trump administration already has sanctions on Iran.

“I don’t think it’s going to have a big impact really in this country because Iran is already under significant sanctions and so for those companies and entities that have been dealing with Iran they’re probably used to it,” said Corrigan. ​

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