Asia Is World's Largest Petroleum Consumer - US Plays Second Fiddle In The Oilchestra From Now On
Drilling for more oil and gas in the USA will feed the Dragon but do nothing for US gasoline price relief. It's hard to figure why Republicans and their voting base can't see that oil is a global commodity and that the biggest customer for liquid fuel (China) drives fuel prices for everyone, going forward.
The three things that matter most in liquid fuel pricing are China, China, and China.
Here are the facts from USEIA:
Asia surpassed North America as the largest petroleum-consuming region in 2008. Asian demand surged nearly 15 million barrels per day from 1980 to 2010, an increase of 146%. North America's petroleum consumption increased 16% between 1980 and 2010. >Global petroleum consumption increased 36%, nearly 23 million barrels per day, during the period.If Iran attacks oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, the price of oil in China will go up, which is why the Chinese UN delegation will always vote against further UN sponsored embargoes of Iran. What further demonstrations of reality do Republican presidential candidates need?
Said differently: Can US voters really be so dumb as to be deluded by the drill here and drill now mantra one more time? Time will tell. Keep your eyes on the Republican primary in Ohio.
Meantime, Let's Have An Election That Hangs On Gas Prices. Here's why.
Suppose the Chinese or the Brazilian economy (or both) slowed this summer. As both nations are prime customers for US liquid fuel exports (currently growing at a record pace) falling demand would bring down average gas price at the average US pump. Voters would lose interest.
Conversely, lets suppose that liquid-fuel-hungry US and Chinese and Brazilian economies strengthen this summer. US liquid fuel prices, driven by growing global demand, would rise. Voters would be looking for a scapegoat, having even less money left from their pay. Will they blame oil companies, the Obama Administration, 'furniners,' or all of the above? Hard to say isn't it?
Volatile gas prices would be a good thing.
High price variability at the pump from now on in to the fall election would be the best thing there is for the environment and public health. People who have no grasp of the fact that fuel prices are driven by global supply and global demand would figure that the free market is not going to fix this one. Given the choice between buying a fuel efficient car or not, more Americans would opt for individual responsibility and get the efficient model.