Peddling Ignorance

The Democratic Convention is waiting for Hillary Clinton to appear, so I’m not sure whether anyone is listening to the Governor of Montana, Brian Schweizer, who is warming up the crowd. Schweizer just retailed one of the Dems’ favorite anti-energy myths: the U.S. uses 25% of the world’s energy, but has only 3% of the world’s energy reserves. This statement is true only insofar as the U.S. (but not other countries) uses a restrictive definition of “reserves” that does not include the vast majority of the petroleum we have in the ground. The oil that Republicans are talking about developing–offshore, in ANWR, shale oil in the Rockies–does not count toward the country’s “reserves.” That petroleum is considered “oil in the ground.” In fact, the U.S. has more petroleum in the ground than the entire world has consumed since it started burning gasoline in the 19th century.

Schweizer says that the most important barrel of oil is “the one you don’t use.” In other words, reduce your standard of living. As I’ve said before, a reduced standard of living isn’t the cure for our energy problem, it is our energy problem.

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