Obama moves on from Lies and Damn Lies, to statistics…

…and Clintonesque parsing.

The [P]resident wags his finger at us while informing us: “With only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices,” he said. “Not when we consume 20% of the world’s oil.”

The second half of this is inarguable, we do indeed consume approximately 20% of global oil production.  Key word, “production.”

Where things get slippery is in the first half of the statement: “…2% of the world’s oil reserves…”  This too would be technically true if he had said “proven oil reserves” as “proven reserves” are oil fields in production.  Fields and deposits not in production are not proven, and no new fields have gone into production during the current administration.

So how much oil do we have?


Scarce Oil? U.S. Has 60 Times More Than Obama Claims

By John Merline | Investors Business Daily

When he was running for the Oval Office four years ago amid $4-a-gallon gasoline prices, then-Sen. Barack Obama dismissed the idea of expanded oil production as a way to relieve the pain at the pump.

“Even if you opened up every square inch of our land and our coasts to drilling,” he said. “America still has only 3% of the world’s oil reserves.” Which meant, he said, that the U.S. couldn’t affect global oil prices.

It’s the same rhetoric President Obama is using now, as gas prices hit $4 again, except now he puts the figure at 2%.

U.S. Awash In Oil

But the figure Obama uses — proved oil reserves — vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all the country’s oil needs for hundreds of years.


Oil which is not part of our proven reserves because the Government won’t let oil companies drill for it.  Oil which we are not producing because the Government is standing in the way of domestic production in favor of “Green Energy” which has lined the pockets of Obama’s friends and donors without doing anything to reduce the energy expense to the American People.

Note also that oil production does more than lower the market price of oil, it also adds jobs.  Jobs in the oil fields.  Jobs building, operating, and maintaining pipelines and refineries.  Jobs supporting those working the fields, pipelines, and refineries.

There’s an old saw about leadership:  Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.  Obama and his flunkies are in the way.


Hat Tip: Kevin Penrose at Google +


Obama on Energy

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Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest™
  • Using the same old rope, broken tree branch…and they all fall down!

  • cirby

    Part of that “technically recoverable” oil is from old wells – you see, when a well drops below a profitable production rate, they can’t just turn off the pump and leave it alone.  They have to shut it down and cap it with concrete – and never use it again.

    A well that was shut down in the 1950s because it wasn’t producing enough oil to pay for its own upkeep, but would be really profitable in modern terms (at $100+ per barrel), can’t be uncapped and restarted.  By law.

    You should also remember that a lot of “shallow” wells – under a half-mile deep – tend to refill from surrounding rock formations over the years, and some of the fields in Louisiana have even been refilling from below, at a pretty good rate.  The US could drastically increase its oil production over the course of a few months just by reopening and restarting a whole lot of old oil wells in the “depleted” fields of Texas and Louisiana.

    • MichaelLaprarie

      Another thing is, we still don’t have a very good understanding of how the replenishing process works.  And there is evidence that petroleum may not originate entirely from decomposed organic matter.  I’ve never agreed with “peak oil” alarmism because there is simply too much that we don’t know.


      • jim_m

        But the science is settled!  We are running out of oil!!!!!

    • Brucehenry

      I never heard of these facts. Are there any bills, proposed by anyone, to address these issues, to your knowledge?

      • cirby

        Most people have never heard of the oil well capping thing – it’s a really old regulation, and due to the lower level of oil drilling and exploration for the last three decades or so, hasn’t really been a priority.

        The last time I heard of someone trying to rescind the rule was at least twenty years back, and a combination of environmental issues and plain old inertia kept anything from happening.  With the current administration still in place, don’t hold your breath about getting permission to open them up.

        Most of those old wells are “lost” in many ways – they belong to old companies that folded or were bought by larger corporations.  They’re mostly easy to find – there are other regulations about keeping track of old wells (for a whole bunch of reasons).

        One way to think of those “lost wells” is as a last-ditch reserve.  If the US gets into a big war, or if there’s a true worldwide oil collapse, they’ll be easy enough to find and restart – they’re shallow enough geologically that pumping tech can be pretty primitive, and a lot of them are “sweet crude” that’s easier to process into gas and other products..

        • Brucehenry

          I learned something today, thanks.

          Still, it seems to me that if we could “drastically increase” our oil production in a way that’s “easy enough,” we should do so now rather than wait for a big war or a worldwide oil collapse.

          The politician who could cut through whatever red tape is keeping capped wells unnecessarily capped would have my vote.

          Edit: BTW, do oil companies WANT to re-open old wells? Are they lobbying to be allowed to do so? If not, why not?

          •  They would love to reopen old wells they own.  The problem is most of the old wells are owned by smaller producers, many of whom are no longer in business.  The properties where the wells thought exhausted were capped have been sold for other purposes.

            It would take a lot of shoe leather to figure out each capped well’s worth, locate current owners, and negotiate individually with them.  That adds a lot of cost.

            Bottom line:  those wells are a realizable source of oil, but not so easily or readily as flipping some switch.  No panacea by any stretch of imagination, but an existing resource which could be tapped.

          • Brucehenry

            I see. Thank you.

  • John_LC_Silvoney

    Sybil, a.k.a. his most recent incarnation, ZGoFish, must be banging his head to a bloody pulp against the keyboard trying to log in to get his hate on.

    • jim_m

      I think he is back as Tano

    • Brucehenry

      Was ZGoFish banned? Why? It seemed to me he was becoming more mature and less abrasive as time went on.

      •  I didn’t notice that, but if you are correct he might be decent enough company in two or three hundred years.

  • jim_m

    The 800 Billion barrels from shale is a gross under estimate.

    The US government (Argonne Natl Lab) estimates that the Green River Basin alone has up to 1.8 Trillion barrels of oil. 

  • klaffner

    So what if we use 20% of the oil.  We pay for it fair and square.  Every single barrel leads to a value add proposition.  Moving a person 300 miles in total comfort for $50 in gasoline is a marvel.  Manufacturers, service providers, and pretty much every other place in our country (including Artists who use oil based paints) pays for and uses petroleum for whatever reason they choose.  Any other country that wants to use more oil can do the same if they want.  They can implement a free market / rule of law  political economic system.  They will grow and prosper.  And they will enjoy a way of life and a standard of living like ours.

    • herddog505

      Hear him!  Hear him!

  • Hank_M

    Obama is trying to cover his ass on this.

    He can’t admit we have more oil resources available than ever before.
    If he does, he’ll be admitting he and his administration have been clueless on this.
    That there’s no one else to blame.

    He’s also claimed there are no quick fixes.
    And yet, CNN (yes, CNN) is reporting that Obama did not agree to tap the SPR when he met with Cameron. That’s fine. But unfortunately, the same report states the following:

    “The price of crude oil took a nosedive on Thursday after Reuters reported that President Obama and
    his British counterpart David Cameron had agreed to a release of strategic oil
    reserves that would take place within months.”

    Imagine that. Crude prices took a nosedive based on nothing more than a (now denied) announcement that more oil would be entering the market shortly. As I recall, when W announced expanded drilling, the same thing happened.

    Well, Obama is in a tight spot right now. Everything he’s been saying and continues to say about the price of oil has been and continues to be WRONG.
    It’s almost as if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. ( He doesn’t).

    Now we get to see what matters more to him – his ego or the American public.

    • MichaelLaprarie

      I’ve long contended that vigorous domestic exploration/production is essential, if for no other reason than to continually prod OPEC et. al. to keep oil cheap and thereby try to dissuade even more domestic production.  When we cease to produce domestically, we send a clear signal to the Middle East that we will have to pay whatever price they want to charge for oil because we have no real alternative.

  • PBunyan

    Obama, The Great Fabricator, strikes again.

  • Commander_Chico

    Looks like bullshit to me.  2,303 billion barrels undiscovered resources?  WTF are they, at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the Moon or Mars?

    Speaking about lies, and damn lies , one sign of that is when you make a graph and then string a bunch of authorities for it together, some reputable, some utterly incredible shills for special interests.

    • jim_m

      Yeah, “Undiscovered Resources” sounds like a bunch of BS.  If it’s undiscovered you really don’t know how much is out there.  It could be 100x that or zero.  Given the known inaccuracies in the graphic it’s not worth worrying about.

      The real point is that 0bama is fudging the truth on what resources the US does have. But we have already seen ample evidence that 0bama has a tenuous grip on what the US is like (Pres. Hayes, 57 states…)

    • herddog505

      Given how many times over the years it’s been “predicted” by “experts” that “we’re running out of oil”, I find it VERY easy to believe that there are large undiscovered resources.

      Here is a handy list of past predictions that “ZOMG!  We’re running out of oil!”

      Among them:

      • 1920 — David White, chief geologist of USGS, estimates total oil remaining in the US at 6.7 billion barrels. “In making this estimate, which included both proved reserves and resources still remaining to be discovered, White conceded that it might well be in error by as much as 25 percent.”

      • 1926 — Federal Oil Conservation Board estimates 4.5 billion barrels remain.

      • 1930 — Some 25 million American cars are on the road, up from 3 million in 1918.

      • 1932 — Federal Oil Conservation Board estimates 10 billion barrels of oil remain.

      • 1944 — Petroleum Administrator for War estimates 20 billion barrelsof oil remain.

      • 1950 — American Petroleum Institute says world oil reserves are at 100 billion barrels.

      And so forth.


      BTW, those “special interests” to which you refer may fairly be said to include every single American who relies on petroleum to get him to work, to put food on his table, to power his house and place of work, and otherwise support our modern way of life.  Which is to say, every single one of us.

      We’re not asking for the country to be turned into a petrocracy.  We’re not demanding that the government never, ever tax, regulate or or otherwise impede the oil companies.  What we DO say is that, contrary to the claims of Barry and other lefties, we have plenty of oil, and so there’s no need to waste tax money on developing alternatives.  There’s certainly no reason to pursue policies to DELIBERATELY make the cost of oil higher.

      Frankly, the lib propaganda that the oil industry is some sort of wicked, greedy, corrupt, destructive entity that must be opposed is the height of foolishness.  But, on the other hand, we ARE talking about the left, the same people who regard Big Pharma – the people who develop and sell drugs that do everything from curing a headache to prolonging our lives in the face of cancers, heart disease, communicable diseases and other maladies that have been a literal plague on mankind since Eve bit the apple – as similarly wicked, greedy, and corrupt.

      • jim_m

         I look at the doom saying about oil in the same way that I look at Malthusian prophesies of mass famine and starvation.  In both cases mankind is capable of innovations that render the predictions laughably wrong.  In fact the only way possible to make thee predictions come true is to adopt the very solution the leftist doomsayers insist upon: Socialism.

        • herddog505

          Ever watch “Soylent Green”?  Amazing what libs will buy into…

        •  I like the way the solution to either warming or cooling is more government control over energy.  They need to work on a rap for increasing regulation if the temperatures stay the same, though. 

          • If they stay the same, then they will say they need to be driven either up or down, until such time as it actually GOES up or down, at which point the upward or downward movement they were just recently advocating for will become the problem immediately.

    •  Believe what you want to believe.  As herddog505 notes also in reply, the actual reserves always far exceed the projections, mainly due to advances in detection and extraction technology.

      In 1970, it was regarded as a national security threat that the world had only a 30 year remaining supply figuring the known reserves and an increasing use based on economic growth.  In reality, consumption escalated at more than double the projected rate but by the “exhaustion” date of 2000, not only were we not out of oil, the “known reserves” were more than triple what had been supposed three decades earlier.

      With all commodities, scarcity increases price, higher prices inspire innovation.

      We call it capitalism.  Try it, you’ll like it.  And you can ditch the gray outfit, Comrade!

  • W

    Don’t forget that not only will our economy profit from the jobs created by production of oil from home but money spent on the actual substance of oil. I would prefer making a U.S. citizen who has oil under their land rich than a Middle East King or Prince.  Oh I forgot profit and being rich are dirty words unless you are from Hollywood.

    Also don’t forget we have vast quantities of coal and rare earth minerals as well that are being block from being used.

  • LiberalNitemare

    Either he’s lying, or he simply doesn’t understand what he’s saying. At this point, I’m prepared to accept either explanation.

    • Brian_The_Adequate

       Don’t exclude the real option that it is both.

  • GarandFan

    You can always tell when Barry is stretching the truth.  His lips are moving.

  • jb

    So, what exactly is the problem? I don’t understand.

    Let’s say we use 20% of the world’s oil and we even had 30% of the world’s reserves. That still means we’ll run out at some point – because oil takes millions of years to renew.

    Which is besides the fact that “potential reserves” is a hypothetical that means absolutely nothing. It reminds me of rock bands trying to pump themselves up by saying they have “major label interest”. Potential is not actual, and should not be depended on if anything important is on the line.

    But we all know this, as adults. If a bunch of people say your company is going to have layoffs soon but someone else says your company could potentially make more money than ever – do you start saving your money and looking at other job openings? If you’re smart you do.

    With that in mind, plus our current reliance on foreign oil, plus what pollution does to the environment even if you don’t accept global warming, plus the savings in investing in infrastructure that doesn’t depend on oil – how is it a horrible thing that we’re looking into alternatives?

  • The issue is that we have enough oil to be energy independent.

    The reason we are not energy independent is the Federal Government.

    • jb

       I just don’t even know where to start, with a statement like that.

      The only way to be energy independent would be, for us to only use US oil. But we don’t currently have enough oil to do that.

      The article we’re talking about is only discussing **potential** US reserves that are a) way to rosy from what I could say, and b) **could one day be available** – not now.

      How is that the fault of the Federal government? Or, anyone really?