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A BNSF freight train hauling oil tankers loaded with crude oil in Montana. Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

Remember that brief moment in late 2018 when the U.S. became a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products combined? It was just a preview of what's to come late next year, according to the Energy Information Administration's first detailed 2020 market forecast.

What's next: "EIA forecasts that net imports will continue to fall to an average of 1.1 million [barrels per day] in 2019, and to less than 0.1 million b/d in 2020," per EIA's outlook published Tuesday.

  • "In the fourth quarter of 2020, EIA forecasts the United States will be a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products, by about 0.9 million b/d," they found.

Why it matters: That factoid is a sign of the country's re-emergence as a global oil powerhouse and increasingly prominent exporter as domestic production has surged.

  • Crude oil production is already at record levels of roughly 11.5 million barrels per day and climbing. EIA sees U.S. crude output averaging 12.1 million daily barrels this year and 12.9million in 2020, cracking the 13 million mark late in the year.

What they're saying: "Steady growth from non-OPEC countries, including the United States, headlines the forecast for global crude oil production through 2020. We expect the United States to remain the world’s largest producer," EIA administrator Linda Capuano said in a statement alongside the the report.

But, but, but: Here is where I'm contractually obligated to note that the U.S. will still remain very tethered to the whims of global markets, and net exports doesn't — and, logistically, shouldn't — mean the country won't still import lots of crude.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

CDC lets child migrant shelters fill to 100% despite COVID concern

Intensive care tents at overflow shelter in Carrizo Springs, Texas. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control is allowing shelters handling child migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border to expand to full capacity, abandoning a requirement that they stay near 50% to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The fact that the country's premier health advisory agency is permitting a change in COVID-19 protocols indicates the scale of the immigration crisis. A draft memo obtained by Axios conceded "facilities should plan for and expect to have COVID-19 cases."

8 Senate Democrats vote against adding $15 minimum wage to COVID relief

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Eight Democratic senators on Friday voted against Sen. Bernie Sanders' amendment to ignore a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian and add a $15 minimum wage provision to the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

The state of play: The vote was held open for hours on Friday afternoon — even after every senator had voted — due to a standoff in negotiations over the next amendments that the Senate will take up.

CDC: Easing mask mandates led to higher COVID cases and deaths

Customer at a supermarket chain in Austin, Texas. Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Easing mask restrictions and on-site dining have increased COVID-19 cases and deaths, according to a study out Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The report's findings converge with actions from governors this week easing mask mandates and announcing plans to reopen nonessential businesses like restaurants.