OIL OVERVIEW: Don't Empty The Tank Just Yet

Posted on May 4, 2010 by LCT Magazine

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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