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12 J. Energy & Nat. Resources L. 27 (1994)
GATT, NAFTA and the Trade in Energy: A US Perspective

handle is hein.journals/jenrl12 and id is 37 raw text is: GATT, NAFTA and the Trade in
Energy: A US Perspective
Ernest E Smith* and David P Cluchey**
From a US perspective, it would be difficult to understate the importance
of the international trade in energy resources, especially petroleum, to the
country's economy. In 1990 the United States consumed approximately 17
million barrels of oil a day, but produced only 9.68 million barrels.'
Projections for the remainder of the century suggest a steady increase in the
disparity between petroleum consumption and production. By the year 2000
US production will have decreased by at least one million barrels a day.2
Even the most optimistic forecasts, which appear to assume enactment of
federal legislation that encourages energy conservation and promotes dom-
estic oil production, suggest that by the turn of the century US consumption
will exceed production by over 9 million barrels a day, with imports totalling
52.5 per cent of our daily oil requirements.3
Trade in natural gas and coal currently lags far behind petroleum, but
may become increasingly important within the next two decades. At present
most of the natural gas consumed in the United States is produced dom-
estically. Less than 8 per cent is attributable to imports, and virtually all of
this comes by pipeline from Canada.4 In contrast with petroleum and natural
gas, coal figures in US international energy trade primarily as an export.5
In 1990 the United States produced approximately 1 billion short tons of
coal.6 Although it consumed most of its production, it exported 106 million
* Rex G Baker Centennial Chair in Natural Resources Law, University of Texas Law School,
Austin, Texas.
** Professor, University of Maine, School of Law, Portland, Maine.
US Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 1992 10-11
(DOE/EIA 1992). The figures include petroleum derived from all sources, including natural
gas liquids and refinery gains, as well as crude oil. If production of crude oil alone is considered,
the figure is significantly smaller, dropping to an average daily production of approximately 8
million barrels.
2 Id.
3 id.
' Within recent years natural gas imported from Canada has accounted for between 5 and
7 per cent of US consumption. See Cross-Border Oil & Gas: Canada- US Energy Trade 3 (Pace
University 1990), and US Energy Information Administration, The Outlook for Natural Gas
Imports: Supporting Analysis for the National Energy Strategy 5 (DOE/EIA 1992). This rep-
resents between 97 and 100 per cent of the natural gas imported into the US Id.
' Coal is also imported into the United States. For example, during the mid- 1980s Columbian
coal made some inroads among users in the eastern part of the country.
6 See International Energy Outlook 1992, supra note 1, at 21.

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