CRS Report: US Has Largest Energy Resources on Earth

| Monday, June 27, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Peter C Glover

In case anyone missed it, let me repeat something that is of a magnitude of 10 on the scale of news-quakes for Joe Public USA: America’s combined energy resources are, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service (CSR), the largest on earth. They eclipse Saudi Arabia (3rd), China (4th) and Canada (6th) combined – and that’s without including America’s shale oil deposits and, in the future, the potentially astronomic impact of methane hydrates.

“The Obama administration has made a conscious policy choice to raise energy prices, accomplished in good measure by restricting access to domestic energy supplies.” So says Senator James Inhofe, a Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He adds forthrightly, “We could help bring affordable energy to consumers, create new jobs, and grow the economy if the Obama administration would simply get out of the way so America can realize its true energy potential.”

While the US is often depicted as having only a tiny minority of the world’s oil reserves at around 28 billion barrels (based on the somewhat misleading figure of ‘proven reserves’) according to the CRS in reality it has around 163 billion barrels. As Inhofe’s EPW press release comments, “That’s enough oil to maintain America’s current rates of production and replace imports from the Persian Gulf for more than 50 years”. Next up, there’s coal. The CRS report reveals America’s reserves of coal are unsurpassed, accounting for over 28 percent of the world’s coal. Much of it is high quality too. The CRS estimates US recoverable coal reserves at around 262 billion tons (not including further massive, difficult to access, Alaskan reserves). Given the US consumes around 1.2 billion tons a year, that’s a couple of centuries of coal use, at least.


Greenhouse Gas Cuts Proving Illusory

by H. Sterling Burnett

Recent greenhouse gas emissions cuts reported by developed nations are illusory, a new peer-reviewed study has found, as many of the cuts have occurred simply as a result of industries relocating to developing nations such as China and India.

Migrating Emissions
As analysts and some politicians recognized when debating the Kyoto protocol, rapid economic growth in developing nations has offset the emissions cuts in industrialized economies. Much of that growth has occurred in China and India as a result of lower wages for workers and less stringent pollution controls and environmental standards.

Ironically, industries that have recently moved overseas merely export the same goods back to developed nations, such that global greenhouse gas emissions are unaffected or actually increase.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines the extent of “outsourced” carbon emissions. Conducted by the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, Norway, the study finds emissions from increased production of internationally traded products have more than offset the emissions reductions achieved under the Kyoto Protocol.