Not long ago, I took on those left-wing tree huggers in my insightful commentary titled The Myth of Global Warming.  I thought I had shut those nutcases up once and for all.  Seems I was wrong (go figure!).  Now they are up a tree again, this time barking about our over-dependence on oil.

These bicycle brains warn that the US has become overly dependent on oil from countries that don’t particularly like us, which puts our national security at risk.  Since when does the USA care about winning a popularity contest? Someone has to be the world’s policeman, and policemen don’t become cops to be liked. Some Chicken Littles are panicking that we might run out of oil in the next fifty years –  like I’m gonna be around to care.  And let’s not forget those socialist sympathizers yammering on about “rich oil executives getting paid too much!” Wah, wah, wah!  Enough with all the whining.

Let’s take a look at some of these latest ridiculous, alarmist claims.

Claim: In 1970, we imported 24% of our oil. Today, it’s more than 65% and growing every year.

My Rebuttal: Wait a minute. Isn’t that what Capitalism is all about – growth?  You wouldn’t be happy if the companies you’d invested in had the flat results year after year. The fact that oil imports are way up is just another sign of our nation’s economic growth. Besides, we are helping countless third world economies from Rwanda to Cameroon by buying up something they probably don’t need anyway. What would they do with all that oil? Use it for cars or factories or shopping malls? I don’t think so. They don’t have any money to spend on those things. Besides, they prefer walking 5 miles to get their water. It keeps them fit and slim.

Claim: The majority of our imported oil comes from countries that either do not particularly like us or have unstable governments (Iraq, Russia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and of course, Canada) thus putting our oil imports at risk.

My Rebuttal: Actually, Nigeria is a fairly nice place once you get to know it. Just don’t make eye contact the first time you meet. And be sure to bow. (But never respond to their e-mails. I’m pretty sure you’re never going to inherit that money they wrote you about.)   I have to admit, though, those Canadians could be a problem. They regularly flood over our borders in droves – usually just to buy things from Costco or rub it in about their superior health care system. Those bastards.

Claim:  The Unites States has just 4% of the world’s population but consumes more than 25% of the world’s oil.

My Rebuttal: So we‘re over-achievers. What’s your point? You want us to start sharing our oil with the likes of Bolivia, Burma and Bhutan? What have ANY of those basket-weaving countries EVER done for the US of A? What’s next? Sharing our iPads?  What the hell would they do with one of them? You can’t even get an Internet connection from any of those countries, I’m pretty sure.

Claim: We are addicted to oil. The United States’ daily consumption of oil equals the consumption of the next 5 largest national consumers (China, Japan, Germany, Russia and India) combined.

My Rebuttal: Yeah? Well, I’m addicted to sugar, but do you see me whining about it? Besides, if I shared my sugar with other countries, they’d just get diabetes – and I would get blamed. Anyway, those other countries don’t need the oil nearly as much as we do.  I mean how else would I start my day without my gasoline-powered flossing kit or my gas-powered toilet flusher? Must we return to the Stone Age days of 1995?

Claim: Peak oil (defined as the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline) has already happened. Some say it happened as recently as 2005 while others claim it happened as far back as 1970.

My Rebuttal: Well, which is it? 1970? Or 2005? Or is it 2015? How about 3015? Admit it. You don’t know. You’re just guessing. For all you know, we may have a good 7 more years before we reach peak oil. Call me back when that happens, will ya? Until then, please refill my gas-powered chocolate milk stirring spoon and shut up.


Claim: Gasoline prices are once again climbing higher every month. The days of $2.50 per gallon gasoline will never come back. Furthermore, as the gap between supply and demand widens and the cost to extract oil from the earth gets higher (drilling even deeper into the ocean floor, shale extraction, etc.) the cost will reach levels that will be out of reach for most Americans. Within a few years, gasoline may cost Americans from $8 to $10 per gallon.

My Rebuttal: So what if gas prices go up to $10 a gallon! Most of the gas we buy at the pump is from good old American-owned companies like Exxon Mobil and Shell, BP, and Amoco– they’re every bit as American as Budweiser.  Buying American is good for our economy, no matter what the cost. Repeat after me: “We’re Number One” (except in health care, where we’re #37).


[Editor’s Note: Shell is technically Royal Dutch Shell, a multinational oil company of Dutch and British ownership, headquartered in the Hague, Netherlands. BP is British-owned. Amoco was acquired by UK-based BP in 1998. Anheuser-Busch (producer of Budweiser) was acquired by Belgian-based InBev in 2008.]


Claim: Oil companies’ profits are too high. 5 of the 8 most profitable companies in 2009 (and 3 of the top 4) were oil companies. In 2008, Exxon had the biggest profit of any company in history at $45 billion at a time when most companies were experiencing steep revenue declines as the economy spiraled down.

My Rebuttal: What are you, a Communist? Do you have a problem with the free market system? I suppose you want to impose regulations on mortgage backed securities and hedge funds while you’re at it too, eh? If you don’t like the kind of profits they’re generating, stop buying their gasoline and go ride a tricycle. Damn, socialist cry baby.







Claim: Oil executives are overpaid. The top 25 US-based oil company CEOs had a median total annual compensation in 2007 of $15.4 million each. And for 2010, the CEO of Exxon Mobil received $29 million in total compensation – which pales next to the CEO of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, who received $76.1 million in total compensation in 2010.

My Rebuttal: What IS your problem? You want to make $76 million a year? Go out and get a job as an oil executive. But no, you’re not even going to update your resume, are you? All talk and no action, just like I figured.

I think I made my case. The Defense rests. I for one am going for a ride in my Hummer – a nice long ride…. by myself…with the A/C on BLAST and my gas-powered donut dispenser at my side.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2010 – 2011

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