Monday, November 6, 2023

U.S. Oil Production hits all-time high

The U.S. is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas. By far.

Really. That is not a typo.

Americans misunderstand our energy use because the reality is in conflict with the politics. 

First, the facts. The U.S. is producing more energy now than ever before. Period. 

The big swing is in oil (in light blue) and natural gas and gas liquids (in maroon and pink.) Renewables are growing along with the total energy supply. 

The U.S. produces more oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids than any other country, including Saudi Arabia.

U.S. Energy Information Administration

U.S. production of oil exceeds production in pre-Covid 2019. The link for this chart includes a table showing crude oil production for every month going back to 1920. See for yourself. Oil production is more than twice what it was during the term of office of oil-men George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Production is greater than it was in the Trump presidency.

U.S. Energy Information Administration

We don't hear much about this. Many voters think the opposite is the case because consumers focus on gasoline prices, not crude oil production. I bought gasoline in New Hampshire for less than $3.50/gallon. So cheap! Gasoline prices at the pump are highly influenced by refinery capacity and location. Most U.S. oil companies are not well positioned to make gasoline from the "light, sweet" low-sulfur crude oil that comes out of U.S. oil shale. Refineries engineered facilities to process the thicker, higher-sulfur oil we were importing 15 years ago. Refineries are expensive to convert to a different input mix, and new ones are hard to site. Refiners looking at electric vehicles are reluctant to over-invest in a refining capacity that may be a mis-match to future demand. The U.S. is exporting some of our light sweet crude and importing sour crude, and making up the cost with increased margins on refined product. The status quo is profitable for the oil companies, so they aren't rushing to change. 

The Biden administration has allowed new leases and has expanded access to oil fields in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. But Biden doesn't crow about it. It is an awkward victory for Democrats. As the PBS headline notes, it is contrary to the climate agenda of Democrats. 

PBS News Hour

Environmentalists complain, but they, too, are reserved. Biden is better on the fossil fuel issue than any Republican who would replace him, and he actively supports green energy. Besides, U.S. oil is replacing Russian oil, and better us than them.  Climate activists understand that high gasoline prices discourage their use and encourage conservation but also that high gasoline prices are unpopular, including with most environmentalist voters. They aren't making trouble for Biden.

Conservative media and Republican officeholders are quiet, too. Their well-established talking point is that Biden hates fossil fuels, that Biden is all about pie-in-the-sky green energy instead of good, old-fashioned reliable oil. The facts get in the way of that narrative. If voters in Texas understood that oil was gushing out of the West Texas' Permian Basin, Texas might turn blue, and Biden might seem reasonable. Better to blame high gasoline prices on Biden's war on oil than to point to refinery margins from PAC donors. Republican officeholders and conservative media stick with a simple narrative that Biden hates oil, oil state voters, and that his policies have destroyed the industry. It is wrong, but it is easy to sell.

There is a war on in the Middle East and sanctions against Russian oil, and yet the gasoline station down the street is open for business with gasoline to sell. No ration card. No lines. No hassle. There is a reason for that.

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Anonymous said...

I have known that the USA is the number one producer for years. It is not a secret. Another example of how you underestimate readers.

Spotted this online: "John Fetterman bashes Gavin Newsom over perceived shadow presidential campaign," Nov. 5, 2023, Washington Examiner

According to the article, Fetterman made his comments at a recent Iowa Democratic fundraiser (originally reported by NBC). Among other things, Fetterman stated:
"If you are a Democrat that wants to criticize and go after Joe Biden, our president, just go ahead and write a check for Trump."

It is wonderful that John Fetterman is much better and is out and about supporting our president.

Michael Trigoboff said...

People who believe strongly in the “climate crisis“ but are opposed to nuclear power or geoengineering are fundamentally unserious. They seem not to have noticed that we are not eliminating the use of fossil fuels at anything like the rate they claim is necessary.

If climate is the big emergency that they claim it is, why are they so opposed to emergency measures? Absent that sort of measure, nothing effective will be done to fix the problem they say is so urgent.

China and India are continuing to build coal power plants. Electric cars are not going to significantly compensate for that. Greta Thunberg is just one more CO2 emitter.

Peter C. said...

In 2020 Biden won because he wasn't Trump. That was easy. However, he doesn't have "it" anymore. Ageism is real when it affects your health. Over 80 sucks, but that's biology. Everyone who makes it that far handles it differently. Joe is going downhill fast and it shows. That's what people see. That's how people will vote. So, the answer is also easy. Relax and retire. I think a younger decent Democrat will beat Trump. But, the polls show Trump beats Biden. That's for a reason. Age. Somebody just has to tell him.

Mc said...

The Washington Examiner is a conservative rag.

Mc said...

Why do you have to make personal attacks? Why does Peter allow them?

Mc said...

Our reliance on fossil fuels endangers our national security and our planet's health.
But ExxonMobil shareholders thank you.

Mike Steely said...

The climate crisis is no hoax, Trump's claims to the contrary notwithstanding. Nuclear power would be nice, if only there were a safe way to dispose of the nuclear waste that remains deadly for millennia. Geo-engineering is a fantasy fraught with unintended consequences waiting to happen. Safer alternatives are available but require a populace that cares about its offspring to develop them.

Michael Trigoboff said...

Nuclear waste is being handled quite competently and safely at the moment in sturdy casks at existing nuclear power plants. The idea that nuclear waste storage is an insurmountable problem is wielded by anti-nuclear propagandists to scare a scientifically illiterate general public.

The mount Pinatubo eruption performed a geoengineering experiment that cooled the earth by a couple of degrees for two or three years, with no catastrophic side effects. We could easily do something similar to alleviate global warming.

My claim is not that climate change is a hoax. My claim is that effective action is not being advocated by those who are running around with their hair on fire about it.

If it’s such a big f*cking emergency, why aren’t you promoting emergency measures?

And if you aren’t, how do you expect to be taken seriously?

Mike said...

There are thousands of metric tons of used solid fuel from nuclear power plants worldwide and millions of liters of radioactive liquid waste from weapons production that sit in temporary storage containers in the US. While these waste materials, which can be harmful to human health and the environment, wait for a more permanent home, their containers age. In some cases, the aging containers have already begun leaking their toxic contents. As an article in Scientific American points out, we need a permanent national nuclear waste disposal site now, before the spent nuclear fuel in 35 states becomes unsafe.

As for geoengineering, let’s hope we don’t get that desperate:
20 reasons why geoengineering may be a bad idea

Joe Cambodia 🇰🇭 said...

Our affinity for cars using 40% of our daily production is the threat to our natl security. Buy a bike.