WASHINGTON D.C. — The American Energy Alliance released today its first-ever prebuttal of a presidential debate, complete with analysis to arm American viewers with the facts necessary to sort through the rhetoric of tonight’s exchange between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. Tonight’s debate — which focuses on foreign policy — is scheduled for 9PM EST, and will take place in Boca Raton, FL. Legendary CBS correspondent Bob Schieffer will moderate this third, and final presidential debate of the 2012 cycle.
Prebuttal Debate Facts:
- Under Vladimir Putin, Russia is increasing its oil production to record levels due, in large part, to that country’s aggressive use of multi-zone hydraulic fracturing technologies to boost recovery rates in mature oil fields in Western Siberia. While Russian oil companies are using hydraulic fracturing to increase oil production, the United States — which pioneered the technological breakthroughs that led to this practice — is looking to lower oil and gas production and increase costs through new regulations on hydraulic fracturing. Click here to read more.
- The United States imported an average of 869 thousand barrels of oil per day from Venezuela during the first 6 months of this year. Venezuela currently ranks fourth as supplier of U.S. oil imports. Revenues from Venezuelan exports are widely credited for Hugo Chavez’s recent re-election and low energy prices in that country. Meanwhile, President Obama has denied the Keystone XL pipeline, which could bring as much as 830 thousand barrels of oil to U.S. refineries along the Gulf Coast that currently service Venezuelan crude brought by tanker. Is America’s national interest better served by increased trade with Venezuela or Canada? Click here to read more.
- The United States increased its dependence on oil imports from the Persian Gulf during the first five months of this year. In that time, U.S oil imports from the Persian Gulf increased by 33 percent compared with the same period in 2011. Oil imports from Saudi Arabia increased by 29 percent. The Persian Gulf’s share of U.S. oil imports is up 6 percentage points — from 15 percent for the first 5 months of last year to 21 percent for the first 5 months of this year. The U.S. could be almost independent of overseas oil within 15 years if positive steps were taken to utilize North American energy resources. Click here to read more.
- As a way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at lower cost, the creators of the Kyoto Protocol devised the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which allows net GHG emissions to be reduced at a lower global cost by financing emissions reduction projects in developing countries. China has been the major beneficiary of the program, having received funding for projects that represent almost 64 percent of the registered Certified Emissions Reductions, totaling 619,078,094 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. These CDM projects will help China towards its goal of producing 15 percent of its energy from “clean energy” by 2020. However, the CDM designers are not getting the reductions they have paid for because many of China’s wind units are not connected to the electricity grid. Click here to read more.
- Coal consumption in the United States is contracting rapidly while growing as the fuel of choice in the global economy. The decline in U.S. coal consumption is offset by a large increase in Asia’s coal consumption, which accounted for all the net growth in 2011. China’s coal consumption grew 9.7 percent between 2010 and 2011, and India’s coal consumption increased 9.2 percent. China consumed 49 percent of the world’s coal supply in 2011. Coal has been used in the United States since 1850 and has been the work horse of the electric power sector for decades, generating about half of our nation’s electricity. But onerous regulations are harming the coal industry and shuttering coal-fired power plants across the country. Click here to read more.
- Canadian production of oil sands in northern Alberta is expected to reach 4.1 million barrels a day by 2020, up from last year’s production level of 1.6 million barrels per day. The Canadian government understands that the regulatory review process is too convoluted, too long, and too expensive. Canada’s provincial governments, led by Alberta in the 1990s, cut taxes, slimmed government, and created a stable investment climate in order to encourage energy development. The United States is headed in the opposite direction. Click here to read more.
- A key ingredient for windmills and battery-powered cars is rare earth elements. Currently, 97 percent of these essential resources are supplied by the Chinese. Two rare earths, dysprosium and neodymium, are needed for the generators and motors of electric vehicles and wind turbines. They have configurations of electrons orbiting their nuclei that result in very powerful magnetic properties, but the U.S. does not mine rare earth minerals despite having large deposits. Environmental regulations closed down the last rare of the United States’ rare earth mines. By 1999, 90 percent of rare earth elements needed by U.S. industry came from Chinese sources. Policy decisions in Washington that promote the use of these “green energy” sources without opening up domestic sources of rare earths necessary to make them only serve to make the U.S. more dependent on China. Click here to read more.
To read AEA’s 2012 Candidate Comparison Chart, click here.