Energy FAQ
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Who owns the oil?

In 13 of the world’s top 15 oil producing countries, the oil companies are owned by the government.  In other words, most of the world’s known oil and gas reserves are owned by national oil companies, not private enterprises.

Top World Oil Producers (2nd quarter 2008, EIA)  (OPEC)  (Non-OPEC)

1. Saudi Arabia: 10.8 million barrels per day (bbl/d)
 Saudi Aramco (world’s largest oil company, fully controlled by Saudi government since 1980)

2. Russia:  9.77 million bbl/d
Rosneft and Gazprom

3. United States:  8.69 million bbl/d
No companies are federally owned.

4.  China: 3.90 million bbl/d
Sinopec and PetroChina

5.  Iran: 3.8 million bbl/d
National Iranian Oil Company

6.  Canada:  3.38 million bbl/d
No companies are nationally owned.

7.  Mexico:  3.19 million bbl/d
Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex)

8. United Arab Emirates:  2.60 million bbl/d
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

9.  Kuwait:  2.60 million bbl/d
Kuwait Petroleum Corporation

10. Venezuela: 2.40 million bbl/d
Petroleos de Venezuela

11. Iraq:  2.37 million bbl/d
Iraq National Oil Company

12. Norway: 2.36 million bbl/d

13. Angola: 1.93 million bbl/d
Sonangol (partially state-owned corporation)

14.  Nigeria:  1.91 million bbl/d
Nigerian National Petroleum Company

15. Libya:  1.70 million bbl/d
National Oil Corporation

How do we use energy in America?

U.S. Market Summary  (EIA, 2nd quarter 2008)

U.S. Consumption:
Petroleum -  20.13 million barrels per day
Natural Gas -  55.77 billion cubic feet per day
Coal -  271 million short tons
Electricity – 10.19 billion kilowatt hours per day
Renewable Resources -   1.89 quadrillion Btu

To put this in perspective, for natural gas and coal the United States comes pretty close to consuming what is produced.  The U.S. produces 55.89 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day and consumes 55.77 billion cubic feet per day.  It produces 297 million short tons of coal and consumes 271 short tons.  It is a different story for petroleum or crude oil.  The U.S. consumes about 20.13 million barrels per day, but only produces 8.69 million barrels per day.

Americans also use alternative fuels and/or renewable energy.  According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the production of fuel ethanol in the U.S. through April 2008 averaged 562,000 barrels per day. 

In 2007, the nation’s energy supply included 7% from renewable energy sources – solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, and wind.

Is energy independence a real possibility?

America has always been the land of opportunity.  We are a nation that is rich with natural resources and have a strong, proven record in the advancement of technologies.  If energy independence is going to be achieved, every American needs to step up to the plate.  Citizens need to elect Congressional and state leaders who will be willing to allow energy development in federally controlled areas like ANWR, which is estimated to have 14 billion barrels of economically recoverable oil.  They also need to allow the recovery of oil through off-shore drilling along the vast coastline.  These can both be accomplished in ways that safeguard the environment.

In addition to fossil fuels, technological advances have broadened the possibilities of capturing marketable energy sources, such as wind, solar, nuclear, and biofuels.  If America is to achieve energy independence, all forms of energy must be developed and made available to consumers.

Can we drill our way out of this?

Yes and no.  It will take time to expand opportunities for drilling and refining.  It is critical to push hard for this in the short term.  But expanded drilling shouldn’t be our only strategy.  Americans need to insist on the expanded use of nuclear energy, biofuels, wind, and other renewables.  Companies need to be encouraged to continue to research and develop these alternatives.  And, in the meantime the American consumer needs to exercise wisdom on how fuel is consumed on a day to day basis.

What is the best path to energy independence?

The best path is the one which leads to increasing the resources produced at home.  The expansion of oil exploration will not only help wean America from a dependence on our enemies (such as Venezuela), but it will also provide jobs and long term economic stability for our own citizens.

As we pursue the more than 14 billion barrels of oil in ANWR, let’s start by not purchasing the 1.4 million barrels per day from President Chavez’s Petroleos de Venezuela or the 1.5 million barrels per day from the Saudi’s.  This is a double-edged problem.  We have no control over the rising price of crude oil and the billions we are spending every year is lining the pockets of governments that funnel money to terrorist organizations.

The best path is the broadest path.  Do it all and do it now.

How much of America’s oil comes from foreign sources?

In 2007, over 13 million barrels per day came from foreign countries.  This means we depend on other countries to supply over 65% of what we consume.  Almost half of this amount is imported from OPEC nations.

Why is legislation needed from Congress?

There are billions of barrels of oil that can be safely and economically recovered from millions of acres of federally protected lands and off coastal shores.  Federal legislation is necessary to lift the restrictions against the development of these areas.

Is this a Democrat or Republican issue?

It is both.  It is an American issue.  We need Congressional and state leadership from both political parties.  We need citizens to communicate with Democrat and Republican leaders that the clock has run out and America needs to take immediate steps to expand our own energy resources.  Every voting American also needs to understand the positions of Congressional and statewide candidates on energy independence before voting in this year’s election.

What can I do to help?

• Get informed.  Visiting this site is a great first step.  Check back frequently for updated information. 
• Know who represents you in Washington and in your state capital.  Contact your local board of elections and make a list.  Begin calling your state legislators and Congressional leaders. Ask what they are doing to move us toward energy independence.
• Find out who will be on the ballot in November.  Don’t be tempted to vote with a Party slatecard.  Contact the candidates from both political Parties or visit their campaign websites.  Ask them about their position on energy policies.

Great links for more information.

U.S. Energy Profile (1997 – 2007) 

World Energy Profiles 

Oil and Gas 101 [American Petroleum Institute] 

U.S. Oil Imports by Country of Origin 

Institute for 21st Century Energy 

Energy Intelligence!8175 

11 Companies Racing to Build U.S. Cellulosic Ethanol Plants 

Cleantech Bucks the Downturn: Thank Algae, Solar Thermal 

Vancouver Company to Take $4 Billion Plant to Ohio


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