Friday, August 1, 2008

World Oil: Lies, Damn Lies, & Statistics

Sometimes life forces a choice between doing nothing and doing something silly, ineffectual, or reckless. Sometimes the better answer is to do nothing, a case in point being the proposals to expand offshore drilling:

According to the Energy Information Administration, removing restrictions on offshore drilling would, at peak — about 20 years from now — add about 0.2% to world production, with an “insignificant” effect on the price of oil.
The lion's share of the world's oil exists beyond the boundaries of the United States (image source):


Unless and until the United States annexes significant new swaths of land, mostly in Asia and the Middle East, all of it currently spoken for, there is no way for anyone in the US government to reduce oil prices. We in the USA simply don't control enough of the world's supply to make a difference in the price. Any politician who suggests otherwise is feeding delusions that we'd do well to abandon.

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