When Obama was running for office in 2008 and gas prices were sky high, he said
"Even if you opened up every square inch of our land and our coasts to drilling," he said. "America still has only 3% of the world's oil reserves."
Just recently, he gave that figure as 2% of the world's reserves. Is that accurate?
Investors Business Daily:
But the figure Obama uses - proved oil reserves - vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities - enough to meet all the country's oil needs for hundreds of years.
The U.S. has 22.3 billion barrels of proved reserves, a little less than 2% of the entire world's proved reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. But as the EIA explains, proved reserves "are a small subset of recoverable resources," because they only count oil that companies are currently drilling for in existing fields.
When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports. Among them:
At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered, according to the government's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
About 24 billion barrels in shale deposits in the lower 48 states, according to EIA.
Up to 2 billion barrels of oil in shale deposits in Alaska's North Slope, says the U.S. Geological Survey.
Up to 12 billion barrels in ANWR, according to the USGS.
As much as 19 billion barrels in the Utah tar sands, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
Then, there's the massive Green River Formation in Wyoming, which according to the USGS contains a stunning 1.4 trillion barrels of oil shale - a type of oil released from sedimentary rock after it's heated.
All told, the US has recoverable reserves of aout 1.4 trillion bbl, enough to satisfy our oil needs without importing a drop for 200 years.
Certainly some of that can't currently be profitably recovered. But I daresay there's enough there to make Obama out to look like an idiot.