Monday, March 19, 2012
Apparently, Barack Obama recently made a claim about American oil reserves versus consumption that is even more ridiculous than it is memorable. First, the claim as cited by Hot Air:
"With only 2% of the world's oil reserves, we can't just drill our way to lower gas prices," he said. "Not when we consume 20% of the world’s oil."The Hot Air piece goes on to claim that Obama is partially right, in the sense that even a surge in domestic production would probably not reduce oil prices since we'd sell what we don't need -- but this is after demolishing the President's implication that we can't produce enough oil for our needs.
So does Larry Kudlow in a piece at RealClear Politics:
This is just patently untrue. According to the Institute for Energy Research, when you include oil shale, the U.S. has 1.4 trillion barrels of technically recoverable oil. That is enough to meet all U.S. oil needs for about the next 200 years, without any imports.Of course, as Kudlow indicates, our own government is our worst enemy with regard to exploiting those enormous reserves:
And then there's the EPA, which is holding up oil and gas exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf, Alaska's North Slope, ANWR, Utah tar sands, and the whole Green River Formation in Wyoming and neighboring states. Energy development on private lands is leading to greater development and production. But the Obama administration is still way behind on permits for drilling on federal land or offshore.Returning to Hot Air for a moment, it is interesting to note that the Green River formation alone contains 1.4 trillion barrels. This is the same figure as the total noted by Kudlow for recoverable oil because, as a listing of reserves at Hot Air indicates, the others added to this would round down.
So how's this for a memorable statistic? "With the EPA preventing us from recovering over 99% of our oil, we can't even try to drill our way to lower oil prices?"
That sounds like an argument not for giving up oil, but for ending the EPA -- which is single-handedly destroying my environment by making it harder and harder for my speciies, Homo sapiens, to acquire the energy it needs to survive.