HERE WE GO AGAIN: 21 years after the Exxon Valdez tanker spill (the captain was drunk), we have the unfolding fiasco off the Gulf Coast. So as the U.S. once again covulses into a high-stakes, all-or-nothing blame game about an oil spill and future energy sources (HINT: we still need all of them), the end result will be higher gas prices and a lack of consensus. It's important not to forget the big picture:
Big Picture Energy & Emissions Facts
Overall U.S. oil consumption has remained relatively flat since 1978
The U.S. economy has doubled in real terms since 1978
Energy consumption per dollar of economic output has fallen 50% since 1975
The U.S. imports 2.3 million barrels of oil per day from Persian Gulf nations, about 13% of total U.S. consumption
The U.S. produces less oil now than it did in 1947
The U.S. has a total of 112 billion barrels of recoverable oil available with today’s technology on terrestrial and offshore property
Since 1980, tailpipe emissions of vehicles in the U.S. have fallen 98%
Source: Steven F. Hayward, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C.
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