Thursday, April 07, 2011

Oil Import Math

Your president at a factory where they make those giant bird-chopping machines:

Obama said he wants to move toward “a future where America is less dependent on foreign oil, more reliant on clean energy produced by workers like you.” That will happen by reducing oil imports, tapping domestic energy sources and shifting the nation to renewable and less polluting sources of energy, such as wind, the president says. He has set a goal of reducing oil imports by one-third by 2025.

One third. OK, let's do the math. Say we have x number of clean energy sources now and we double them. Then, no, let's triple them. Oh what the heck, let's say that tomorrow we wake up and find that our wind, solar, and nuclear electric generation has been increased 937%. Can we calculate how much that would cut our oil imports? Yes, and I can do the math in my head, while doing a Sudoku and watching reruns of Arrested Development.

In fact that problem is too easy. Just to make it interesting, let's say we take the oil saved and use it to oil up Rosie O'Donnell and Nancy Pelosi for a charity wrestling match. Assume, to make it simple, that it takes one barrel of oil to do the job, and that they earn $432.76 for their charities per wrestling match. Can we calculate the total earned before the saved oil is used up? Yes, and I can calculate it in my head while drunk and shooting rubber-bands at Garrison Keillor.

The answer is zero.

We import absolutely no oil for use in electric power generation. So the number of barrels saved is: nope, nada, gar nichts, zip, zero, none. If you want that in metric it's: still not a stinking drop.

So why do they keep pretending that we import oil for electric power generation? There, finally a question I can't answer.