Some key facts are likely to go missing from mainstream media reports as President Obama discusses energy policy. In the end, civilizations decline because of policy choices, not so much because of a natural process of osmosis. Let's unleash this industrial giant again and make the 21st Century the next American Century.
The U.S. Possesses Unmatched Natural Resources
* According to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), America is endowed with 163 billion barrels of recoverable oil. That's enough to maintain current rates of production and replace Middle East oil for over 50 years.
* CRS places America's natural gas potential at 2,047 trillion cubic feet; this is enough to meet demand for 90 years.
* The Department of Energy estimates that oil shale from the Green River Formation has 1.38 trillion barrels of recoverable oil. That's more than five times the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.
* From a U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, world oil consumption is expected to grown by an annual average of 1.6 million barrels per day through 2012.
* According to EIA, supply from Middle East and North Africa is uncertain due to expectations of continued unrest. Meanwhile, non-OPEC countries (excluding the U.S.) are expected to have a slight increase of production in 2011 followed by a decline in 2012.
* EIA projects that U.S. crude oil production will decline by 100,000 barrels per day in 2011 and by a further 160,000 in 2012.
* Currently the United States produces 2.63 billion barrels of oil per year, yet our consumption rate is 6.85 billion barrels/year (CRS).
Gulf of Mexico
* Of the 30+ rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico at the time of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, 7+ have left due to lack of permits. Seahawk Drilling declared bankruptcy due to the inability to obtain permits.
* The Gulf area alone could potentially lose more than 8,000 jobs with the general United States losing more than 12,000 jobs in the first 6 months of the moratorium alone.
* 220,000 barrels of oil per day can be extracted from the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil & Gas Prices
* West Texas Intermediate and other crude oil spot prices have risen $15/barrel since unrest in the Middle East and North Africa began in mid-February.
* EIA expects the retail price of regular-grade gasoline to average $3.56/gallon in 2011, 77 cents/gallon higher than 2010 and about 40 cents higher than previous projections.
* Gasoline is expected to average $3.70/gallon during the peak summer driving months.
In President Obama's Own Words
"But as we cut through all the talk and the politics in the energy debate, we can see what the debate is really about. We see the family that thinks twice about what they'll spend at the grocery store this week, because they've been paying $40 to fill up the tank for the last month. We see the grandmother who isn't sure how'll she'll make her Social Security check cover January's heating bill. The autoworker that isn't sure what the future at Ford holds for him. And the mother who sees turmoil in the Middle East and worries that someday her son might have to fight to secure our oil supply. Ultimately, we see a nation that cannot control its future as long as it cannot control the source of energy that keeps it running." - Senator Obama, speech at Resources for the Future - September 15, 2005