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Foreign Oil Dependence of American Consumers and Presidential Candidates January 22, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in Africa, Bill Clinton, Central America, domestic oil production, economics, economy, George W. Bush, global trade, Hilary Clinton, John McCain, Middle East, Mitt Romney, news, oil dependence, oil imports, politics, presidential election, Rudy Giuliani, Saudi Arabia, South America.

All of the criticism about oil profiteers in the Whitehouse engenders skepticism about the ties of current presidential candidates to increasing oil profits and possibly to Saudi Arabia. Consequently, I did some googling to see what I could find. The results are not earthshaking but they are informative, but first a little oil industry background.

Foreign Oil and America’s Dependence

According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), America imports about a third of all energy sources. America imports a little more fossil fuel than other sources of energy. The DOE reports 38% of fossil fuels are imported while 62% are produced domestically. Twenty years ago, America imported about 21% of all its fossil fuels and imports amounted to only a little over 10% forty years ago.

The growth in domestic production has not been very significant over the same time period. For example, between 1957 and 1967, the largest increase occurred. During this period, domestic fossil fuel production rose 31%. Thereafter, American production increased almost 11% between 1967 and 1997 and it decreased 5% since then.

These figures appear to be much lower than figures reported in the news about America’s dependence on foreign oil. The difference between the figures above and the 50% to 60% reported by the media is based on how domestic production and imported supplies are calculated. The high percentage of America’s dependence on foreign oil is calculated as a percent of domestic supplies. In 2006, American fossil fuel production measured in BTUs was 56 quadrillion1 and net imports were 29.6 quadrillion. That means imported fossil fuel was 53% of the total amount of domestic fossil fuel production. When calculated as percent of all fossil fuel supplies minus exports, the percent of imported fossil fuel is 35%. Historically, our actual dependence on foreign fossil fuels was only 20% twenty years ago, and forty years ago, it was a measly 8%.

The hoopla about the Bush connection to Saudi oil is not very significant when compared to the overall picture of foreign sources of petroleum. Canada and Mexico provide America with 33% of all of our annual imported crude oil. Other Central and South American nations provide us with an additional 18%. America imports 22% of its crude oil from the Middle East and 21% from various African nations. We get just 14% of our crude oil from Saudi Arabia. Interestingly, 98% of Saudi Arabia oil exports are sent to America, according to a recent Middle East Media and Research Institute report.

Ties That Bind Oil Dependent Presidential Candidates

More interesting than Saudi oil exports is Saudi funding of Bill Clinton presidential library. The Washington Post reported that questions were being raised about Clinton’s ties to Middle Eastern oil. The Saudis donated $10 million to Bill Clinton’s presidential library in 2004. Among the Saudi donors were the Saudi royal family and three prominent Saudi businessmen. Other million plus donors included the governments of Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar and past deputy prime minister of Lebanon Issam Fares. The Post failed to mention that one of Saudi businessmen, Al-Dabbagh, is also minister of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority. One of his plans is to attract foreign investments in oil refineries, construction, and other industries. As with other Middle Eastern millionaires and billionaires, the royal family, Nasser al-Rashid, Walid Juffalim, and Issam Fares are all benefactors to American universities and not just the Clintons.

So what does this tell us about Hilary’s campaign? It tells us that Hilary is a member of the globalist club. She and Bill rub elbows with Muslim businessmen who are often tied to Islam’s global conversion plan. More important is the fact that they have trade favors to repay to the Saudis and other Middle Eastern nations. That is if Hilary is elected.

Hilary is not the only candidate with oil ties though. Rudy Giuliani’s law firm has made substantial profits from representing the oil industry. John McCain has oil industry lobbyists behind his bid for the presidency. Last, but not least, is Mitt Romney who is a small player in the oil industry. He too has lobbyists ‘advising’ him on strategy for his campaign.

When it comes to oil dependence, Hilary has all other candidates beat. Maybe that was the reason President Bush said she would win the presidency.

[ See my correction concerning crude oil in More on American Foreign Oil Dependence ]

1. A quadrillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000.

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