My previous post about President Obama being fast with gun control data reminded me of another occurance of his knack of being deceptive with data. If you remember back when he was being critisized for his creative methods of blocking new drilling for oil he kept on quoting a statistic that “The United States holds only 2% of the planet’s proven oil reserves”. This is something that he uses to suggest that the US just doesn’t have that much oil in the ground and drilling would be a waste of time and money. That’s what he wants people to assume. Because most people don’t know what “proven oil reserves” means it’s not a huge stretch for people to make that jump.
Well, the Institute for Energy Research put out an article about this deception (emphasis added).
According to President Obama, the United States contains only 2 percent of the planet’s proven oil reserves, Of course, he’s right — to a point. In classic fashion, he’s using a technicality to skirt the facts and keep the myth of energy scarcity alive. The reality is that the U.S. has enough recoverable oil for the next 200 years, despite only having 2 percent of the world’s current proven oil reserves.
And the technicality that he’s using?
Proven oil reserves are not all of our oil resources—not even close. In fact, proved reserves represent a tiny portion of our total oil resources. Proven (or proved) oil reserves are reserves that have already been discovered, typically through actual exploration or drilling, and which can be recovered economically.
Read the article for more details about what the proven oil reserves really means. Ultimately, we’ve had only 2% pretty much all of the time.