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Regarding Drilling, 'Pull Your Own Weight, America'

Thompson Ayodele, executive director of a Nigerian based think tank writes in today’s NY Post:

Turmoil in the Middle East is once again causing a spike in US energy prices, along with the usual hand- wringing over how the country can feed its oil addiction in the years ahead. With quick stops at alternative fuels (not a serious, large-scale option for decades to come) and nuclear (hello, Fukushima Daiichi), the debate quickly comes back to America’s own domestic oil production: To drill or not to drill?

And here some global perspective may help Americans find a way out of a blisteringly politicized discussion that generates, literally, more noise than light.

As a Nigerian who is proud of his country’s contributions to the world’s oil supply — we are the single largest producer of oil in Africa, and one of the top five exporters to your nation — I wonder how it is that Americans never seems to ask yourselves one fundamental question: What if all countries restricted access to their oil and gas reserves the way you do? Where would the world — let alone the United States — get its energy from?

America’s unwillingness to tap its oil reserves would be defensible if you were equally conservative with your consumption. But, sorry, you consume roughly a quarter of the world’s oil. Meanwhile, you severely restrict or outright forbid access to oil bounties along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and in the Alaskan tundra.

If countries in the Middle East, South America or Africa were to adopt a similar attitude, America would be left gasping for energy.

The arguments against tapping US oil reserves are familiar. Most popular is the refrain that there are barely enough “proved reserves” of oil beneath the US to last more than three years or so. But that statistic is based on a set of criteria set by the Society of Petroleum Engineers that is itself defined by the restrictions on exploration.

These “proved reserves” count only the oil that is “commercially recoverable” under “current economic conditions, operating methods and government regulations” (emphasis added). In other words, the term defines how much oil your government allows access to, not how much is actually there.

The rest here.

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Regarding Drilling, 'Pull Your Own Weight, America'

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