Saturday, September 08, 2007

Weekend Rant: The US Doesn't Need Middle East Oil!

We hear it all the time: Discussions about finding or developing another source of energy to replace oil. Whatever that source may be will not come to the fore until the supply of crude is nearly exhausted. The same goes for the coal industry and why there hasn't been one nuclear power plant built in the US for 30 years. Also, as I have said on numerous occassions, the US doesn't need Middle East oil! That is a straw man argument that has been repeated so often - by the left and the right - that people just assume it's true. The US gets roughly 19% of its imported oil from all Mid-East oil-producing nations - COMBINED - and that's about the same as it gets from Canada, the largest single-nation supplier of oil imported into the US. Look at the map (courtesy of Gravmag/Gibson Consulting) below for the breakdown. I strongly encourage readers to visit their site which contains a wealth of information.

For more current data, go to the Energy Information Administration. The numbers haven't changed much, and Canada is still the largest single-nation supplier of imported US oil.

If somebody (a president with the traits of Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Barry Goldwater) had the balls to tell the EPA to get stuffed and reject any court decision that might rule in their favor, the US could drill in ANWR, re-fire the rigs (and build more) off the California coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, and import more oil from Canada (who, I'm sure, would be happy to sell it to us), thus becomming virtually self-sufficient in the oil department. At the same time the US could tell the Saudis it will buy their oil for $10 per barrel, and if the Saudis don't like it they can drink it. The EU and China would not be able to buy the difference in what the US buys if it were to stop buying Saudi oil, and that would bring the Saudis virtually to their knees. Considering, also, that the Saudis are the major financiers of the global jihad, wouldn't that be a good thing? I mean, hey, if we're in a "War on Terror," let's get serious and really hit them in the wallet.

I don't begrudge the oil companies for making a profit, but I am really tired of them propping up these rag-head oil pimps in the ME for no other reason than it's a good ol' boys' club that has been doing "business as usual" for the last 100 years or so. Despite the politics and ideologies involved, their arrangement is a comfortable one ($$$$), and rather than shifting focus on Canada and hanging the Saudis out to dry, the big oil companies make easy money with them. That is the only reason they don't buy more oil from Canada and invest more heavily in production and oil sands extraction there, regardless of EPA restrictions on domestic exploratory ventures.


Anonymous Lisa said...

Joe, even though we import 12% of our oil from Saudi Arabia, I still don't like that we also import from Mexico, Venezuela, Angola, Kuwait, Algeria, Iraq and Nigeria, among others.

I wonder if the fact that import 10% of our oil from Mexico has anything to do with President Bushito's kissing of Mexican "tukhas" and his refusal to close our borders. I wouldn't be surprised.

2:31 PM GMT+12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buying even more of our oil from Canada will only shift their spent demand to other countries. IOW: the oil we stop buying from SA and start buying from Canada will now be sold to the other countries Canada USED to sell to before it gave that share to us.

Bottom line: the Saudis STILL make lots of money.

It's one thing to tell the EPA to get stuffed. It's another to find your administration dragged to a halt because you are in court 24/7 due to lawsuits from all those little GDCSMF'rs on the left.

As for the oil companies buying from SA, I do not think they have much of a choice given prices are fixed on the open market. If we insist Exxon buy from another country that country will tell them that their output is already spoken for and in order to change that Exxon would have to pay a premium for that crude---forcing Exxon to raise its pump prices to make up the difference. Let alone the cost of litigation for breaking contracts.

Bottom line (and trying not to sound like a greenie moonbat): we are our own worst enemies demanding cheap oil to fuel our lavish and exorbitant lifestyles (triple packaging, plastic bags out the ass at checkout, getting in the car 7 times a week to buy one item at the store, etc.

If Americans cut consumption just 10% (not just consumers but everyone) prices would plummet.

Then again, low oil prices mean the incentive for discovering other sources of fuel or extraction of oil from tar sands goes out the window.

A fine balance, indeed.


10:30 PM GMT+12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at it this way. We use up everyone else's oil while ours is still sitting in the ground.

You're right though as we don't need the Middle East. We have enough here if we could only get the Environmentalists out of the way.


11:20 PM GMT+12  
Blogger Oldcatman said...

Which is to say......alternative fuels should not be looked as a replacement for OIL but as
a way to ''reduce''our need, reducing how we buy from the Arabs or whoever.

7:31 AM GMT+12  
Blogger Joe Ramen said...

Lisa, The amount of oil we get from the countries you mentioned besides Mexico, don't amount to much, so they are irrelevant. I agree that Bush is uber-tolerant of illegals from Mexico exactly because he is courting them for oil, the NAU and SPP, not to mention future votes for "the Party." As far as Venezuela goes, considering that Chavez nationalized the oil industry there in May, seizing all the US-owned interests, I don't know what effects that has on what we get from them.

Vilmar, I get where you're coming from - to a point. My whole purpose for writing this was to counter the mantra I hear all the time about the "war for oil" crap. Perhaps I should have approached it from that angle. Regardless, my point remains clear that we don't NEED M.E. oil.

As for the contracts, lawsuits, etc. I don't care; I'm thinking radical, "outside the box." Shake-up the "business as usual" way of doing things and do business on OUR terms. If I may quote myself:

"Courts may interpret the law, but the president controls the military. Laws are only effective when backed by men with guns, and if those men with guns are backing opposition to activist judicial efforts, I know what wins every time; and it ain’t words on paper."

I would in no way advocate that the government mandate who the oil companies could or could not buy from. I meant it in more of a utopian ideal of "I wish the oil companies would stop, of their own accord, the "good ol' boys" mentality."

Finally, I wasn't even thinking about getting the oil cheaper; just not getting it from the ME, and again, refuting the claim that we NEED them for oil. Your final thoughts seem to be coming from the demand side, while I was looking at it from the supply side. Alternative fuels will not be developed until the existing sources are nearly exhausted because the oil companies have no incentive for exploring alternatives until that time comes.

OCM, that last part applies to your comment as well.

3:26 PM GMT+12  
Blogger Russet Shadows said...

Excellent point. I was thinking about the very same topic yesterday. Graphs at the same government site show that we import roughly 30% of our energy, but that demand for oil has skyrocketed from about 1970 on, while domestic production has declined precipitously. As for Bush, I don't think any president should be allowed to serve more than one term -- period.

11:27 PM GMT+12  

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