Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Great Confused Energy Debate...

Much of the problem with our energy policy is energy ignorance. Most of us rely on intuitive or emotional responses to the complex problem of energy production and consumption, but a little hard information may force re-evaluation.

F'rinstance, while I have written about the perception that all our imported oil comes from the Mideast, in fact only about 1/6 does. Our biggest suppliers are our neighbors to the north and south.

Surprisingly, the U.S. is the third largest oil producing country in the world and the U.S. imports the most oil from Canada and Mexico. Bottom line, the “red states” politically produce energy while the “blue states” consume. If all energy and power were converted to BTUs, the state of Wyoming would produce more than Saudi Arabia.

Now for another shocker. Big Oil's profit margin is less than Big Biotech, Big Software, Big Food, etc.

But wait! There is more: Hummers are better for the environment than hybrids. Really.

The problem with our energy policy is not politics - it's math skills.

1 comment:

JR said...

John - I think you are very accurate in your description of the issues. However, I have to disagree with your characterization of the issue as one of poor math skills. When you critically look at the facts such as these, you have to conclude something else. Those who provide the 70-80% of the people their news, i.e. broadcast networks, wire services, newspapers, etc., are either grossly incompetent in their reporting or are motivated to drive public perceptions by the way the report facts.

I don't think there is any question that the so-called MSM (main-stream media) has a template that they fit most of the 'energy issue' news into....(1)'big oil' is bad and always looking for (and usually finding) unjustified profit for overpaid executives, (2)we are totally dependent on mideast oil and the only possible fix is alternative fuels, and, (3)government can fix this if it wanted to while market forces won't work. If the facts don't fit into one of these angles, they just don't get reported.