One of the really big lies on oil production

“We use 20 percent of the world’s oil while producing only two percent.”




That line has been repeated ad nauseum by BarryO, his minions, and their comrades in the news media. How true is that  statement?

Energy expert Steve Maley opines on the subject in his blog:

In his Thursday energy/pipeline speech at Cushing, OK, President Obama opened his mouth and revealed a total lack of understanding of our nation’s energy supply picture.

And I’ve been saying for the last few weeks, and I want everybody to understand this, we use 20 percent of the world’s oil; we only produce 2 percent of the world’s oil.

Hmmm. “We only produce 2 percent of the world’s oil” the man said? Seems like that would be pretty easy to check… How about Wikipedia, whose source on world oil production is the CIA World Factbook. (Figures are for crude oil plus natural gas liquids; b/d = barrels per day.)

  1. Russia – 10.5 million b/d, 12.0% of world total
  2. Saudi Arabia – 8.8 million b/d, 10.0% of world total
  3. United States – 7.8 million b/d, 8.9% of world total
  4. Iran – 4.2 million b/d, 4.8% of world total
  5. China – 4.0 million b/d, 4.6% of world total

I suppose you could give the guy the benefit of the doubt — he was probably going for what I’ve called The Big Energy Lie— the idea that our energy potential is limited because the U.S. has only 2% of the world’s reserves. To me, that’s a deliberate attempt to mislead the public. “Reserves” — an engineering term of art — have no relationship with “resources”, the true estimate of potential.

Our resources are only limited by our ingenuity and our will.

But I truly think that nobody cares. Not the President, his advisors, his speechwriters, or even his trusty teleprompter. After all, there’s an election to win!

Resources, reserves, production . . . As a famous man once said, “Words. Just words.”