Energy independence is coming for the United States much sooner than most oil industry watchers had expected. 

New advances in technology push developments like the Eagle Ford shale formation as a source of crude, meaning the U.S. could be the top oil producing nation in the world by 2016.  And, it goes further than that. 

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman offers a bold prediction.

“These are amazing times,” he says.  “America will be energy-independent in the not-too-distant future, and we haven't been able to say that since the 1950s.  I think it could happen in three years.”

Smitherman says the oil we import has been dropping rapidly for eight years. 

“In 2005, we were importing 60 percent of our oil,” he explains. “Today we're in the 20s, and we're going to zero.”