Science Energy Is Obama Really Saying No to Middle East Oil? By Shea Gunther Writer University of New Hampshire Rochester Institute of Technology University of Southern Maine Shea Gunther is a writer, entrepreneur, and podcaster living in Portland, Maine. He covers topics such as renewable energy, climate change, and nature. our editorial process Shea Gunther Updated December 26, 2019 Oil, oil everywhere. (Photo: joiseyshowaa [CC by SA-2.0]/Flickr) Share Twitter Pinterest Email Energy Fossil Fuels Renewable Energy Is Obama suggesting we won't be buying oil from the Middle East or Venezuela within 10 years? I was reviewing the newly launched Whitehouse.gov's Agenda section and found some confusing language regarding Obama's energy plans. This is the first mention: The Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan will:* Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined. Just a few lines down is a big headline: Eliminate Our Current Imports from the Middle East and Venezuela within 10 Years Which is it? They are two very different things. It's a bold and admirable goal to strive to cut oil consumption by the amount that we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela. I don't know what that number is at the moment (I'll find it), but let's just say it's X billion barrels a year. By improving fuel standards in cars and pushing other smart efficiency rule changes, we stand a good chance of using X billion barrel of oil a year less than we use now in 10 years. Or is Obama suggesting that we are going to eliminate the oil that we import from the Middle East and Venezuela? Is he saying that in 2019 we won't be buying ANY oil from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Dubai, and Hugo Chavez? If that's what the case, the Obama administration needs to spend a few minutes and read this Dilbert cartoon. Oil doesn't work that way, even if we could slash our demand by that much, it's not possible to not buy oil from one particular region or country. Oil is a fungible commodity, which basically means that once it's pumped out of the ground, it loses its nationality. It's literally impossible to not buy oil from the Middle East and Venezuela. What's up that? I'll report back when I know more.