Testing Your Energy IQ

by Pearl Hahn

Are Americans knowledgeable when it comes to current energy policies and how the oil industry works? Most do not know, for example, what percent of oil consumed in the United States this past year came from Persian Gulf countries. (Given the option of 90 percent, 60 percent, 40 percent, or less than 15 percent, you would be right if you picked the last choice).

So if less than 15 percent of oil consumed in the U.S. came from the Persian Gulf countries- Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, UAE, and Oman- from where did the U.S. import most of its oil? Among the choices of Venezuela, Russia, Canada, or China, you would be correct if you picked Canada.

You read that right, between 66 and 80 percent of oil and natural gas consumed in the U.S. is produced here in North America.

The largest U.S. oil and gas company is ExxonMobil. However, when ranking the world’s holders of oil reserves, ExxonMobil does not even place in the top fifteen companies.

Another factoid- since 2000, the U.S. oil and gas industry has far outspent the federal government on zero and low-carbon technologies. In addition, they handed over between $200 and $300 billion in taxes to the federal government in the past three years.

For every dollar of sales, how many cents does the U.S. oil and gas industry take in? Given the option of 0 to 10 cents, 11 to 20 cents, 21 to 30 cents, and 31 to 40 cents, you’d be right if you said 0 to 10 cents.

Find out more behind the misconceptions surrounding energy at the American Petroleum Institute website.

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