Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wolf Says We Get 20%-25% of Our Oil from Venezuela. Not!

In this interview, Frank Wolf demonstrates once again how out of touch and uninformed he is about a number of subjects. Given my own background as a world energy market analyst at the US Energy Information Administration for 17 years, for now I'd like to focus on one in particular: oil. According to Frank Wolf, as stated in the interview, the United States gets 20%-25% of its oil from Hugo Chavez's Venezuela. Uh, Congressman? You're not even close. In fact, 20%-25% of our oil consumption would amount to 4-5 million barrels per day, which is far more than Venezuela even produces (2.4 million barrels per day of crude in June 2008), let alone exports!

For more information on U.S. oil imports, see EIA's website. According to the U.S. government's top energy statistical agency, in 2007, the United States imported 1,361 thousand barrels per day of oil (crude and refined products) from Venezuela, out of 13,468 thousand barrels per day of total U.S. oil imports and 20,698 thousand barrels per day of total oil U.S. consumption (see here for more). Quick math tells us that's 10% of U.S. oil imports from Venezuela and 7% of total U.S. oil consumption from Venezuela -- not even close to the 20%-25% Frank Wolf claims, obviously.

Of course, Frank Wolf is the same person who also likes making false claims about Cuba leasing oil rights to China – a falsehood that was started by Vice President Cheney and later shown to be untrue. And Frank Wolf is the same person who has voted time and again against energy efficiency and renewable energy, while defending absurd subsidies for Big Oil companies at a time when they're making record profits in the history of mankind. Given all this, Wolf's latest gaffe probably shouldn't be surprising. More broadly, it shouldn't be surprising that Frank Wolf's lethal combination of ignorance and ideology leads to bad policy. It's not surprising, but it's sad that Frank Wolf's in Congress and able to do so much damage to the environment and to U.S. energy security. Reason #infinity why it's TIME FOR A CHANGE this November. In short: Farewell Frank, Hello Judy Feder! :)

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