Just The Facts
Friday, May 29, 2009 | Author: eventer79
We need to talk about oil. Because there are two MASSIVE untruths about oil floating around out there that I hear almost on a daily basis. Each time, one of my eyes twitches and I think a blood vessel bursts in my head somewhere. That muffled gulping sound heard every time ones of these statements is made is my stifled scream of agony.

The Middle East controls our oil supply.

Very little of our oil comes from the Middle East. Our supply can be broken down as following (illustrated on chart as well) --
Domestically produced (i.e. drilled in the US of A): 41%
Our lovely northern neighbours (Canada): 9%
Saudi Arabia: 8%
Venezula: 8%
Mexico: 7%
Nigeria: 5%
Iraq: a whopping 4%

The rest of it comes from Norway, Angola, Columbia, and other nations (all less than 2%).

So. Iraq and Saudi Arabia combined contribute only 12% of our oil supply. Hell, even CANADA beats out the Saudis. Apparently we should be invading ourselves if we really want to control supplies. Although that doesn't make nearly as exciting a target for demonization than a completely different culture.

If we would only do more domestic drilling, we would have more oil available and gas prices would go down.

There is no promise anywhere that oil drilled in the US STAYS in the US. The US is actually the largest producer of oil in the world, even today (not surprisingly, we are also the largest consumer -- does that make us oil cannibals??). We do export a lot of oil as well, and many new oil drilling projects include plans to SELL that oil, most often to China and other growing Asian markets. So sorry, no oil for you, no matter how loud you chant "Drill, baby, drill." The chant more appropriately should would be "Suck out our natural resources for cut rates and then sell them abroad for personal profit, oil companies!"

Also, oil supply in the US right now is at the highest level it's been for decades in terms of what we have on hand, in barrels, ready to refine into fuels or plastics. There are literally tankers full of oil sitting around off the coast just waiting to be used. Yet gas prices rise -- NOT because supply here is low, but because prices and the amount of gas coming out of refineries is controlled by the refining companies, by speculators and by OPEC. Guess what: global economics is NOT as simple as the "supply and demand" principle that you learned in 5th grade.

So PLEASE, before folks make inflammatory statements, or whine about how the Middle East has all this power over us or, I don't know, invade countries, GET YOUR DAMN FACTS STRAIGHT! Otherwise, I have no respect for your arguments. Please let the agony stop.

And sorry, this is not a Friday Fun Fact, but it's been gnawing at me and I have to get it out...
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On May 29, 2009 at 4:33 PM , lifeshighway said...

Well that's not a very fun fact at all.

The statistics you listed are readily availble to all but the mainstream press and politicians prefer to whip folks up in a mad frenzy.