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Don't Blame The Oil Companies

If you have any kind of vehicle or equipment that uses gasoline, or rely on freight trucks to bring your food, then you have probably noticed that things are getting quite a bit more expensive lately. With the recent events in the Gulf concerning BP, your immediate response is probably one of anger towards the big business that is seemingly jacking up prices to make a few extra dollars. This is understandable, since the majority of the country has little interaction with these companies except when visiting the pumps or when FOX News spends three months covering one of their disasters.

But the reality is quite contrary to popular belief. I’m going to let you in on something that surprises most people: the oil companies can only provide about 30% of the nation’s oil needs. The other 70% comes from foreign countries like Eqypt, Lybia, Iraq, and especially Saudi Arabia. This is because our government refuses to allow the companies to drill in all available areas for more oil. It just so happened that most of the world’s oil is located in the countries that are controlled by the same people our nation is currently at war with. There is also a substantial amount in Alaska and far off the Gulf coasts, but those places are deemed “environmentally preserved”; therefore, we can not access it.

So when the Middle East goes into a civil unrest, and the leaders that the United States has in office in those countries lose control of their people, we lose a valuable source of oil. Because of this, we are forced to suffer at the pump. Seems a bit ridiculous, right? Well there are two options that could fix the problem. First, we could pull all of our efforts from extracting and producing oil and put them into finding a new energy source (something that might not be possible for another 50 years and would cause hundreds of thousands of jobs to be lost). Or, we could decide that our need for oil and independence from foreign Middle East oil is important enough to expand the reach of our own oil companies. Otherwise we could be seeing even higher prices for gas in the very near future, and there will be nothing we can do about it.

1 blog comments below

For reference-oil production by country:

US imports by country:
Where are those Middle East countries you speak of?

I am waiting on 1st quarter profit reports by oil companies. Say 10-12 Billion each?
standready on Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:41 am

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