Thursday, May 10, 2007

“31 Billion Barrels here and 31 Billion barrels there, and pretty soon you’re talking real Oil.”

The world consumes over 31 Billion barrels of Oil per year, and demand has been growing at nearly 2% per year. During this decade, the world will consume an amount of oil equal to all of the Oil in Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait, and perhaps Mexico as well.

I mention this because earlier this week I watched the Speaker of the House complain on National Television that we were confronted with insufficient gasoline supplies right before the Memorial Day weekend kickoff to the summer driving season, and “why doesn’t this Administration have a cohesive national energy policy?” I thought to write to and inform Madam Speaker but I recovered my wits. The Speaker knows very well that we HAD a national energy policy – invade Iraq, install a friendly and pecuniary government, award contracts to certain favored oil exploration and production companies, and abscond with Iraq’s oil. It just didn’t work out. Republicans and Democrats alike knew the deal but now it is election season…

That was our policy, and it was simply an extension of the de facto policy of the past 30 years, or since the U.S. Department of Energy was formed. Increase the percentage of imported oil while at the same time misleading the American people with propaganda about “energy independence”. America has only 2 % of the world’s oil reserves, produces 8 % of the world’s oil (which means we are consuming our domestic reserves 4X faster than the rest of the world), and consumes 25 % of the world’s oil production. Can someone tell me how we get to energy independence with that arithmetic? Thankfully, for our politicians anyway, Americans don’t seem to be able to count – at least not yet. I fully believe that their mathematical talents will shine shortly after the first time they drive up to a gas station with a big “NO GAS TODAY” sign; too little, too late.

Americans are in such deep denial about the certainties that face us. Energy consumption is what separates First World nations from their Third World counterparts. Ever shop in a grocery store in the Peruvian countryside? The experience bears no resemblance to grocery shopping in America, today. Will it? As sure as G-d made little green apples. The only question is when, and at 31 Billion barrels per year that “when” just ain’t that far off.

Mentatt at yahoo (dot) com

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