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A Good Resource for Facts Regarding U.S. Energy Policy

Last week I attended an Energy Syposium sponsored by South Texas Money Management, Ltd. in San Antonio. One of the speakers was Amy Myers Jaffe, who is the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow in Energy Studies at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and associate director of the Rice University Energy Program. Ms. Jaffe is co-author of ”
U.S. Energy Policy FAQ- The U.S. Energy Mix, National Security and the Myths of Energy Independence.pdf” published by the Institute in 2008. A good read. Excerpts:

  • “The United States consumes about 20.6 million barrels per day (b/d) of oil, or roughly 25 percent of global demand. By comparison, China is the second largest consumer of oil at 7.2 million b/d and Japan the third at 5.2 million b/d. Russia and Germany are fourth and fifth, respectively, at 3.1 million b/d and 2.6 million b/d. India’s oil demand also is rising quickly, increasing by almost 40 percent since 1995 to the current average of about 2.5 million b/d. The most glaring differences in demand exist in the transportation sector. U.S. road pertoleum use represents 33 percent of all road petroleum use globally, which is twice as high in percentage terms as all of Europe. China, by contrast, currently represents 5 percent of all global road petroleum use.”


  • “Despite the decline in oil and natural gas production in the United States and Europe, the possibility that the world will geologically ‘run out’ of fossil fuels seems remote … The ratio of world-proven reserves to production currently equals about 42 years, substantially higher than it was in 1972.”
  • “While vast amounts of oil resources remain available for exploitation, more than 75 percent of the undiscovered resources outside OPEC are located offshore, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).”
  • “National oil companies (NOCs), mainly within OPEC, currently control 80 percent of the remaining conventional global reserves of oil.”
  • “The United States imported 12.2 million b/d in 2006, or about 60 percent of its 20.6 b/d total consumption. That represents a substantial increase in share — up from 35 percent of total demand in 1973.”
  • “Americans own more than 242 million motor vehicles, close to a vehicle for every person in the country. We travel more than 12,000 miles per vehicle each year, and virtually all our vehicles are powered by petroleum-based fuel. As a result, despite the fact that we are only 5 percent of the world’s population, we use in excess of 33 percent of all the petroleum consumed for road transportation in the world.”
  • “[T]alk of [U.S.] energy independence is ridiculous and may not even be a worthwile goal.” An aggressive ethonal program like Brazil’s is not likely to achieve U.S. energy independence. “To achieve ‘overnight’ oil independence by replacing gasoline with ethanol, we would need to produce approximately 10 times the amount of biofuels being produced worldwide today.” 
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