CHICAGO, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The United States has become the world's fastest growing oil producer under President Barack Obama, said a former White House green jobs advisor.
"We are now 80 percent energy independent when it comes to oil," Van Jones told Xinhua. "If you put 10 gallons of gas in your car, eight came from the United States. That's a huge development that has happened under President Obama."
According to a White House report, since Obama took office, America's dependence on foreign oil has decreased year by year.
In 2010, the U.S. imported less than half of all oil consumed. In 2011, it has cut net oil imports by 10 percent, or 1 million barrels per day.
The White House report said U.S. net oil imports as a share of total consumption declined from 57 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2011 -- the lowest level in 16 years.
Responding to Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney's accusation that Obama has failed to reduce gasoline prices, Jones said the conservatives should be happy with the president's policy because the United States is producing more oil than it has in a very long time.
"The liberals should be happy because even while we are pushing up supplies, we are pulling down demand by being more efficient and using smaller cars and SUVs," he said.
The Yale-educated attorney said that oil prices in the United States should be dropping precipitously, but Wall Street speculators are driving up the prices using tensions in the Middle East.
Oil prices soared earlier this year amid strained U.S. relations with Iran, but plummeted to a 2012 low after industrial growth in China unexpectedly slowed in April. Concerns over Europe's debt crisis further reduced fuel consumption.
On Thursday, oil prices fell below 96 U.S. dollars a barrel, from about 100 dollars during its peak in April.
About a year ago, in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration launched the most aggressive and comprehensive reforms of offshore oil and gas regulation and oversight in U.S. history in a bid to expand and develop offshore energy resources.
As a result, what is known as tight oil production in places like the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota has helped revitalize the American oil industry. Drilling is also occurring in Texas and Montana.
While the domestic oil production is on the right track in the United States, Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy.com said that there is no guarantee that domestic drilling will result in lower gas prices any time soon.