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.
Even though it really stinks that we’re all still paying for Doyle’s bad deal, at least the legislature is continuing to reduce our exposure.
The Legislature’s Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted, 12-4, along party lines not to borrow $2.5 million to continue planning a $55 million to $63 million permanent maintenance base in Milwaukee.
That base would have serviced two new trains built in Milwaukee by Spanish-owned Talgo Inc. for Amtrak’s Milwaukee-to-Chicago Hiawatha line.
Immediately after the vote, Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb issued a statement saying, “Today’s decision to not provide funding for the permanent rail maintenance facility means that the state will be unable to put the Talgo trains into revenue service. We hope to work cooper atively with Talgo to resolve any outstanding contractual issues in a mutually satisfactory way. Existing rail service on the Hiawatha route, using Amtrak equipment, will continue without interruption.”