Oil Dependency

President Obama claims that under his administration, foreign oil dependency has fallen:

Looks good, right? Great, I innocently thought. Finally, something to get bullish about! Hey — the Obama administration might have some constitutional problems with the extrajudicial killing of American citizens — but at least he’s addressing the issue of external oil dependency that I have long believed is one of our most grievous.

But why — if Obama is successfully addressing the problem of foreign oil dependency — are gas prices so high?

The trouble is, Obama is being — shall we say — liberal with the facts.

Mish writes:

President Obama absolutely did not cut dependency on foreign oil. In fact, foreign oil dependency rose from roughly 37% to 40% under his administration. To be more precise, foreign petroleum usage in his administration went from 37% to a peak of 41% last year, currently at 39.9%.

And why is that? Let’s look at the real figures — for all petroleum products:

So just what is Obama taking credit for?

Oh dear. Mish concludes:

The only way Obama can take credit for the decline in consumption caused by the recession, is to take credit for the recession itself.

Falling foreign oil consumption appears to be as a result of economic contraction.

The scary thing is that consumption has dramatically fallen, while gas prices continue to rise. How high would they be if consumption had not fallen? And how much will consumption have to fall to stave off further rises?

The Problem With Oil

Self-explanatory, really:

All the while those trillions of dollars of military spending act as an implicit subsidy on oil, and while the global oil trade is subsidised it is very difficult for any cleaner or more sustainable or more decentralised alternatives to win on cost.

Effectively, American foreign policy is rigging the energy market, and that hurts America more than anyone else. A less interventionist foreign policy might raise oil costs just enough to allow a new alternative energy infrastructure (thorium, solar, synthetic oil) to develop — and save the American taxpayer and military the costs and horrors of endless energy wars.