Did You Know We Are Exporting More Oil Than Domestic Drilling Would Bring?

Aug 21, 2008
Author: SCP Editor

The primary catalyst for higher oil prices this morning on heightened tensions between Washington and Russia over a missile deal we just did with Poland. Has anybody but us notices that all of the saber rattling that we do, whether it is with Russia, or with Iran seems to benefit one of our parties and its lobbyists much more than the other – in particular, the GOP and the oil lobby? We aren’t typically conspiracy-minded, but it is just too convenient here for some of our representatives to shelve diplomacy and benefit in the pocketbook.

On the day after weekly crude inventories showed a rise by 9.4 million barrels, the largest weekly increase since March 2001, we should be seeing a pretty impressive pullback in oil prices, not a jump. But once again, our gunboat style of diplomacy is getting all of the attention and causing all of the concern. Sure, we can blame it on Russia, and we can blame it on Iran, but in a world where diplomacy and strategic thinking prevailed on Washington, our bet is that the volatility in the oil markets would be considerably more tempered.

By the way:

·         Last year, the U.S. sent an average of 1.433 million barrels a day of oil and petroleum products to foreign nations. This number is up to 1.806 million barrels a day in May 2008, the most recent month for which data is available. This export level amounts to almost 10% of the oil that the U.S. consumes every day.

So when the GOP theatrics ramp back up into full gear when Congress reconvenes with the platitudes about domestic oil drilling being a savior for our pocketbooks, just keep in mind that the Department of Energy projects that even with the domestic drilling program in full gear by 2030, increased offshore drilling would only produce 200,000 barrels per day – one ninth of the amount of oil that we currently send to foreign countries every day. We thank the Select Senate Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming in the House for this data.


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