7.16.2008

HOW MUCH IS THAT IN BARRELS OF OIL

Forget sovereign funds buying up storied US banks or iconic US products being owned by non-US companies. How about two Middle East countries buying the entire country? According to the calculations in this article - "How Much Oil It'd Take to Buy the US" - Saudi Arabia and Iran have more in reserve in barrels of oil than the net worth of the entire US.

How's that for a perfect storm of rising oil prices and the falling dollar? Or, as my colleague put it, "Saudi Arabia could own everything east of the Mississippi, and Iran everything west." I say this without a trace of xenophobia: that would be considerably more painful to our nation than a $2 per gallon tax on gas, which could further get our oil consumption down to more efficient levels while raising tons of money for the transit and other infrastructure necessary to wean ourselves from our current addiction to cheap oil.

Instead, we are trying to get our politicians to do everything in their power to lower gas prices. Wrong direction, America, and if we keep going that way, other nations might have ownership over more than just IBM ThinkPads, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and Budweiser.
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