I just read the ExxonMobil advertorial in the NYTimes. The second in a 3-part series, this one is titled "Energy close to home." It is a very well-done piece that cherrypicks information. For instance, while admitting that the US is the world's leading oil consumer, it notes we are the No. 3 oil producer. It doesn't mention the we are No. 3 out of about 80 countries providing oil to the US economy. Nor does it say we are No. 3 but slowly declining in production or that the U.S.-sourced portion of our oil supplies is only about one third of our needs.

To be sure, we need U.S. and ExxonMobil oil production - I use about four gallons a week myself - and I credit the geologists and petroleum engineers of the world for getting it to us. After all, we need it to keep ourselves moving while we transition to the vehicles you read about here on ABG and their non-petroleum energy sources - biofuels, hydrogen, renewable electricity, plus the alternate lifestyles global warming will require - more biking, walking, telecommuting, etc. The point is we can't live a 21st century life using 20th century habits, not if we want to remain a strong and free society.

The advertorial is meant to attack the U.S. policy of keeping certain energy resources "off limits" to current exploration and production. While tempting, isn't it best that we sip rather than slurp up the last of our remaining petroleum sources? After all, once we use it all up and we are not done transitioning, what do we do then? Turn all our petroleum-dependent vehicles into horse drawn buggies or large planters? Our oil has to last till about 2050. That is a stretch.


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