United States oil politics

About 40% of the energy consumed by the United States comes from oil [http://energy.cr.usgs.gov/energy/stats_ctry/Stat1.html] . The United States, with about 5% of the world's population, is responsible for 25% of the world's oil consumption. This is a slightly lower consumption per person as compared to the European Union. The United States has approximately 3% of the world's proven oil reserves [http://www.nrdc.org/air/energy/fensec.asp] . The United States, as of 2006, imports more than 65% of the oil it consumes.

The United States and Iraq

Ex-CIA director James Woolsey and U.S. Senator Richard Lugar wrote:"Energy is vital to a country's security and material well-being. A state unable to provide its people with adequate energy supplies or desiring added leverage over other people often resorts to force. Consider Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, driven by his desire to control more of the world's oil reserves, and the international response to this threat. The underlying goal of the U.N. force, which included 500,000 American troops, was to ensure continued and unfettered access to petroleum."

The United States and Saudi Arabia

As of 2005, Saudi Arabia has 25% of the worlds proven oil reserves (the world's largest oil reserves) and has the worlds fourth largest natural gas reserves. [http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/saudi.html] Saudi Oil accounts for about 13% of U.S. oil imports.

Former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chas Freeman, said of Saudi Arabia,"One of the major things the Saudis have historically done, in part out of friendship with the United States, is to insist that oil continues to be priced in dollars. Therefore, the US Treasury can print money and buy oil, which is an advantage no other country has. With the emergence of other currencies and with strains in the relationship, I wonder whether there will not again be, as there have been in the past, people in Saudi Arabia who raise the question of why they should be so kind to the United States." [ [http://www.mepc.org/forums_chcs/27.asp The United States and Saudi Arabia: American Interests and Challenges to the Kingdom in 2002 ] ] [ [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,6903,900867,00.html When will we buy oil in euros? | Business | The Observer ] ]

The United States and the Soviet Union

Richard Heinberg, a professor from Santa Rosa, California argues that a newly declassified CIA document shows that the U.S. used oil prices as leverage against the economy of the Soviet Union:

"The Memorandum predicts an impending peak in Soviet oil production 'not later than the early 1980s' (the actual peak occurred in 1987 at 12.5 million barrels per day, following a preliminary peak in 1983 of 12.5 Mb/d). 'During the next decade,' the unnamed authors of the document conclude, 'the USSR may well find itself not only unable to supply oil to Eastern Europe and the West on the present scale, but also having to compete for OPEC oil for its own use.' The Memorandum predicts that the oil peak will have important economic impacts: 'When oil production stops growing, and perhaps even before, profound repercussions will be felt on the domestic economy of the USSR and on its international economic relations.'"

"...Soon after assuming office in 1981, the Reagan Administration abandoned the established policy of pursuing détente with the Soviet Union and instead instituted a massive arms buildup; it also fomented proxy wars in areas of Soviet influence, while denying the Soviets desperately needed oil equipment and technology. Then, in the mid-1980s, Washington persuaded Saudi Arabia to flood the world market with cheap oil. Throughout the last decade of its existence, the USSR pumped and sold its oil at the maximum possible rate in order to earn foreign exchange income with which to keep up in the arms race and prosecute its war in Afghanistan. Yet with markets awash with cheap Saudi oil, the Soviets were earning less even as they pumped more. Two years after their oil production peaked, the economy of the USSR crumbled and its government collapsed." [http://www.museletter.com/archive/cia-oil.html]

Dependence on foreign oil

American dependence on oil imports has grown from 35% in 1973 (the first year reliable data were collected) to 60% by the end of 2006. The Energy Information Administration projects that U.S. oil imports will remain flat and consumption will grow, so net imports will decline to 54% of U.S. oil consumption by 2030 [ [http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/energy_in_brief/foreign_oil_dependence.cfm How Dependent Is the United States on Foreign Oil? - eia.doe.gov] ] According to the Department of Energy, the top oil exporters to the United States in May 2008 were, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela, and Nigeria (in order from most exports to least). [ [http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html Crude Oil and Total Petroleum Imports Top 15 Countries ] ]

The Carter administration

1973 energy crisis, Carter Doctrine

Domestic oil Politics in the United States

U.S. officials who have worked for the oil industry

*James Baker [ [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00612FF3E5F0C708EDDAB0894DB494D81&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fPeople%2fB%2fBaker%2c%20James%20A%2e%20III COMPANY NEWS; Baker and Mosbacher Are Hired by Enron - New York Times ] ]
*Joe Barton
*Michael Boskin
*George H.W. Bush
*George W. Bush
*Robert Card [ [http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/bios/card.htm Biography: Robert G. Card ] ]
*James Connaughton [http://www.utne.com/web_special/web_specials_2004-06/articles/11232-1.html A Dirty Dozen ] ]
*Richard Cheney
*Philip Cooney
*Donald Evans [ [http://contracts.corporate.findlaw.com/agreements/tombrown/evans.emp.1997.01.01.html FindLaw - Employment Agreement - Tom Brown Inc. and Donald L. Evans ] ] http://www.corpwatch.org//article.php?id=11458]
*Alberto Gonzales [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/02/15/BU132842.DTL Spotlight on Enron's law firm ] ]
*Wendy Lee Gramm
*J. Steven Griles
*Robert Jordan (lawyer)
*Zalmay Khalilzad
*Henry Kissinger [http://dir.salon.com/story/politics/conason/2002/12/03/bush/print.html Salon.com Politics | Joe Conason's Journal ] ] [ [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1:47936650/How+Afghanistan+Went+Unlisted+as+Terrorist+Sponsor.html?refid=ency_topnm This article is unavailable - HighBeam Research ] ]
*Robert B. Oakley
*James C. Oberwetter (ambassador to Saudi Arabia)
*Joseph Lieberman [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-1656017,00.html Aide who doctored global warming report joins Exxon - World - Times Online ] ]
*Condoleezza Rice
*Gale Norton [ [http://www.sierraclub.org/politics/cabinet/norton_background.asp That Page Not Found (404 Error) - Sierra Club ] ]
*James Schlesinger [ [http://www.secinfo.com/dRxzp.3n.htm SEC Info - Schlesinger James R - 5 - Seven Seas Petroleum Inc - For 12/31/01 ] ] (first Secretary of Energy)

ee also

* Arab lobby in the United States
* Big Oil
* Energy policy of the United States
* Lobbying in the United States

References


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