The oil industry and Republicans such as Sarah Palin often claim there needs to be fewer energy regulations in order for the U.S. to become "energy independent." Republicans often attack President Obama for high gas prices.
The oil industry and the GOP claim that if U.S. oil companies pump more oil from U.S. soil then U.S. gas prices will drop.
In reality though, there has been an enormous amount of oil pumped in the U.S., especially in Texas, over the last few years.
According to FuelFix.com, Texas oil production has reached its highest level since 1984. In March of this year, more than 74 million barrels of crude oil were pumped in Texas.
If the Lone Star state were a country, then it would fall into the top 15 oil producers in the world. Texas is on par with OPEC nations such as Venezuela, Kuwait and Nigeria.
The U.S. pumped out 221 million barrels of oil in April, with more than a third of that black gold coming from Texas, which has 835 drilling rigs.
If there is so much oil being pumped in the U.S. then why is gas over four dollars in some parts of the country?
Because U.S. oil companies sell gasoline, diesel and jet fuel on the world market for as much money as they can. Domestic oil companies have no intention of giving Americans a "break" on gas prices just because the oil is pumped out of U.S. oil wells.
USA Today reported in 2012:
Federal laws do not generally allow crude oil that's produced in the U.S. to be exported but permit the export of refined products that come from it — such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Last year, for the first time since 1949, the U.S. became a net exporter of these products. Most gasoline exports go from Gulf Coast refineries to Latin America, where demand is booming.
"They're not keeping it just for us," President Obama said this month about U.S. oil companies, noting they sell on the international market. As a result, he said, "We can't just drill our way out of this problem."