Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oil Myths

The 6 Myths About Oil-Every American consumes an average of three gallons of oil a day. Republicans and Democrats call this reliance on oil an “addiction”—an irrational, self-destructive habit that must be broken as soon as possible. This year's BP oil spill disaster is only making the chorus to “end our addiction to oil” louder. But if we examine the most common arguments for this idea, we see that they are myths. Oil is a vital, viable, and desirable part of our energy future.
Myth #1: America’s reliance on oil is an “addiction”—an irrational, self-destructive habit. “America is addicted to oil.” –George W. Bush, 2006 [snip]

"The Reality: America’s use of oil brings indispensible value to our lives.“Addiction” implies an intense desire for something harmful, such as heroin. But we do not desire oil irrationally; we consume it because it is a beneficial, life-sustaining product. Oil is unmatched as a concentrated, safe, and affordable source of portable energy. And our lives depend on such a source of energy.

"- Oil powers the industrial farm equipment that brings us abundant food; oil powers the mobile machinery that we need to extract the raw materials like iron, lumber, uranium, or natural gas from the earth.

"- Oil powers the construction equipment we need to build new buildings, dams, levees, factories, and homes.

"- Oil powers the hundreds of millions of vehicles that move people, materials, and products around the world to make possible the efficiency of our integrated, global economy.

"- Oil is also the vital raw material for thousands of different petroleum products: from the carpet on your floor to the insulation inside your walls; from the synthetic rubber of your tires to the asphalt of the roads; from the pesticides and fertilizers that magnify crop yields and make food affordable to billions, to the pharmaceuticals that save millions of lives.

"We are not "addicted" to oil any more than we are addicted to the myriad values it makes possible, like fresh food, imported electronics, going to work, or visiting loved ones.

"Without oil, or something just as potent, abundant, and affordable, life as we know it would be impossible.
[other myths addressed]:
"Myth #2: There are “green” technologies that are just as good, or better, than oil." [snip]
"Myth #3: Because oil is finite, it will inevitably run out." [snip]

"Myth #4: Because oil is mostly in other countries, they can cut us off at will and create an economic catastrophe. "[snip]
"Myth #5: Because oil money funds hostile dictatorships (Iran, Saudi Arabia) by using less oil we can make them poorer and make ourselves more secure." [snip]
"Myth #6: Because the burning of oil produces CO2, oil is a deadly pollutant that must be severely capped." [snip] (
full editorial from Alex Epstein here)