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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

21 billion barrels in proven oil reserves won't last long

So John McCain caught wind that the United States has 21 billion barrels of domestic proven oil reserves. That was his justification for lifting the federal ban on offshore drilling during his love fest with the oil and gas industry in Houston earlier today. Regardless, the fact that we do have 21 billion barrels of oil reserves shouldn't give anyone any comfort since the United States will consume that amount within fewer than three years. McCain's solution is a short term fix that chooses political expediency over energy independence for future generations.

Below is a table of the top oil consuming nations. The US consumes about 21 million barrels of crude oil a day. This is a little over 7.6 billion barrels a year, and that figure will rise as our daily consumption rises. It should be clear that 21 billion barrels is not that much crude oil and not worth the cost that comes with offshore drilling and drilling in environmentally sensitive areas.

For John McCain and those fact-challenged Republicans who think that drilling in ANWR and off of our shores is the solution, I suggest you start educating yourselves. A good place to start is the wonderfully informative The Oil Drum blog.

World Oil Consumption for 2007

#1 United States: 20,730,000 bbl/day
#2 China: 6,534,000 bbl/day
#3 Japan: 5,578,000 bbl/day
#4 Germany: 2,650,000 bbl/day
#5 Russia: 2,500,000 bbl/day
#6 India: 2,450,000 bbl/day
#7 Canada: 2,294,000 bbl/day
#8 Korea, South: 2,149,000 bbl/day
#9 Brazil: 2,100,000 bbl/day
#10 France: 1,970,000 bbl/day

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