We knew how to profit, not how to protect.
Does any one think this a little out of the ordinary?
I've been thinking about the potential impacts of climate related weather events in the future and realized that I don't actually have to imagine what it would be like, because what is anticipated to occur as our climate changes, is happening almost on a daily basis already.
Researching the natural disasters which have impacted people around the planet recently I found a page up at Wikipedia which allows people to reference all the major natural disasters for a given year.
2009 Georgia (U.S. state) floods, At least $500 million, 10 deaths
2009 northeastern Sicily floods and mudslides, at least 20 deaths
Cyclone Klaus - France, Spain, Andorra, Italy, 27 deaths, 600 million Euros
2009 southeastern Australia heat wave, 374 deaths, cost $100 million
Australia Black Saturday bushfires, 173 deaths, $500m + 450,000 hectares, 1.1 million acres + 3,500+ structures in total, damage still being assessed
Turkey 2009 Zigana avalanche, 11 deaths
The past month alone
Southern California wildfires, two deaths, Millions of dollars to fight and in property lost
In Australia last month in a one week period Hail, thunderstorms, dust storms, floods, bushfires, tornado, earthquakes
25/26/27 September - Philippino tropical storm Ondoy (Ketsana), 240 deaths, $2.4 Billion Philippino
29 September Vietnam, Cambodia - Ondoy, 99+ deaths, $120 Million
29 September Tsunami Samoa, Western Samoa, Tonga, 164 deaths
Or we go back to the beginning of the year and we had
Some of the most magnificent beach front in Australia being washed away in Climaticide - Black Sand Event
One of the most prestigious sea-change retirement real estate areas is being washed away in Australia. The council have a policy in place as climate disruption erosion events were expected and they have a 'ready to go' land abandonment policy.
Wintersun - Photo diary More destruction of Australias Gold Coast.
Natural Disaster early warning sites
With these natural disaster events causing loss of life and incredible damage to property, it got me thinking about what parallels can be drawn between natural disasters which increasingly may be influenced by our changing climate, and man-made disasters.
As a follow on to my previous diary, I've put these disasters into a group.
Planeview Events - Energy industry related disasters
Chevron in Ecuador 1964-1990, Toxic waste estimated equivalent to 30 Exxon Valdez, potentially $16 Billion in damages
On 21 August 1991, approximately 8.5 million litres of chemicals burned following an explosion caused by lightning striking a storage tank at Victoria's largest toxic chemical storage facility at Coode Island, Melbourne, creating a very hazardous situation.
Huge clouds of toxic smoke and fumes threatened nearby suburbs but fortunately were largely dispersed by high winds in the area. Over 250 people were evacuated from nearby factories and ships. Of the 150 firefighters who fought the inferno, 2 were injured. A total of 14 storage tanks containing about 600,000 litres of chemical each were destroyed and 230,000 litres of fire-suppressing foam were used against the blaze (at a cost of $1.5 m alone). Damage to the facility and clean-up costs were estimated at over $20m (1991 values)
Longford 25 September 1998. 2 deaths, cost $1.3 Billion to Victorian industry (1998 dollars).
BHP Billiton and Australia history Exxon and Australia Longford plant Exxon celebrates 40 years of Longford Gas plant in 2009
Moomba Santos gas explosion 1 January 2004, $30 Million cost to company
Note: When this event occured there was footage and photographs. I have had no luck locating any images despite this having occured only 5 years ago.
Texas city refinery explosion March 23 2005
Sidoarjo mud flow Indonesia, 28 May 2006, potentially $276.8 Million in damages, 50,000 villagers homes uninhabitable/buried
Spirits Are Angry. Bad Time to Bomb Their Volcano.
Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Japanese Nuclear plant 16 July 2007
The 8,212MW plant was completely shut down for 21 months following the earthquake. This sized plant would be capable of providing power to over 5-8 million people working on a 1MW per 600-1,000 people estimate.
... around 4.4 billion USD lost in stock capitalization... more costly to the company than the 2002 data falsification scandal. ... the plant closure could cause a power shortage during the summer months.
...the leak caused thousands of cancellations at resorts and hotels along the Sea of Japan coast...
- the fast breeder Monju Nuclear Power Plant sodium leak in December 1995 - the Tokai reprocessing waste explosion in March 1997 - the criticality accident at the Tokai fuel fabrication facility in September 1999 - shut down all of Tokyo Electric Power Company’s 17 nuclear reactors. Tokyo Electric's officials had falsified inspection records and attempted to hide cracks in reactor vessel shrouds in 13 of its 17 units
Apache Varanus oil plant, 3 June 2008, Potentially $6.7 Billion in damages
THE West Australian Government will prosecute oil and gas producer Apache Energy for failing to maintain and repair a gas pipeline that exploded last year.
The report said the explosion was the result of ineffective anti-corrosion coating, insufficient protection of a transition zone of the beach section of the pipeline, and not enough inspection and monitoring of the 17-year-old pipeline.
Note the above was after only about 2 weeks from the 21 August to 3 September. The spill has continued to this day, another full month and a week. More photos are available here showing other areas superimposed.
These are some of the endangered marine animals from this area.
h/t to Haole in Hawaii
There are disasters which are recurring as a result of safety or extraction standards not at the level they should be or still being developed.
Chinese coal mine explosions
2001-2004 China coal accidents
China produced 35 percent of the world's coal last year, but reported 80 percent of the total deaths in coal mine accidents, according to statistics with the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS).
Among accidents occurred from January 2001 to October 2004, there were 188 each with death toll of more than 10, about one death every 7.4 days, said SAWS Wang Xianzheng at a national meeting on coal mine safety.
December 7 2007 105 Killed in China Mine Explosion February 22 2009 China coal mine blast kills 73, 65 still trapped September 8 2009 Gas Explosion Kills 35 Miners and Traps 44, China Says Deadly blast in China coal mine
People living near gas drilling facilities in states including Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming have complained that their water has turned cloudy, foul-smelling, or even black as a result of chemicals used in a drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."
So not only can natural events cause immense damage to life and property, our relentless pursuit of energy also can have incredible impact if those responsible for the extraction, refining, mobilization of that energy resource put profit over and above any other priority. Rushing a new plant without it being properly completed, taking short cuts, ignoring alarms, deferring into perpetuity necessary maintenance, dumping toxic pollutants rather than paying for the processes to treat them, failing to train staff and implement and enforce good, safe operational policy can all lead to these tragic events costing billions of dollars and costing lives as detailed above.
As our energy economy has been designed to extract and combust/burn carbon based fossil fuels, the release of stored or buried carbon dioxide we are witnessing is altering the stability of our climate. A climate which humans have been able to survive well. Changing this will will change our capacity for survival.
Some recent headlines and articles with respect to climate change include:
Australias Great Barrier Reef
"The future is horrific," says Charlie Veron, an Australian marine biologist who is widely regarded as the world's foremost expert on coral reefs.
My point would be this: Weather related natural disasters are increasing in intensity and are expected to do so as the lag effect of carbon dioxide release from early in the century slowly impacts the climate. Every time one of these hits massive amounts of aid are required to address those impacted through death, disease, losing homes and property.
Our pursuit of energy, being predominantly through the exhumation and combustion of stored carbon based fossil fuels, is intensifying the impact of these natural disasters. Further, when something goes wrong and an energy related disaster occurs, the impact can be devastating on an economy as well as impacting many more people negatively. Particularly long periods without that major supply of energy people have learnt to depend upon.
So why have we not challenged the status quo? Why do we continue pursuing the majority of our energy needs through the extraction and consumption of stored carbon or fossil fuels? Wouldn't the 'energy' companies recognize the harm their industry can cause and get actively involved in transitioning to cleaner forms of energy production? Forms which require less time and effort hunting for new fields, produce less waste, do not use up a depletable resource, do not threaten the very fabric of life.
But if this is not incentive enough, the increasing frequency of warnings of fossil fuel depletion coupled with the wildly fluctuating energy prices in oil, coal and gas, would it not make sense to pursue stable forms of energy which can be produced within a countries own borders?
Knowing we have been warned plenty enough about the multitude of serious dangers facing us over our addiction to fossil fuels, what has stopped action over these developing scenarios of disaster?
A shadowy scientific elite codenamed Jason warned the US about global warming 30 years ago but was sidelined for political convenience
"Right on the first page, the Jasons predicted that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would double from their preindustrial levels by about 2035.
Today it’s expected this will happen by about 2050.
They suggested that this doubling of carbon dioxide would lead to an average warming across the planet of 2-3C. Again, that’s smack in the middle of today’s predictions.
They warned that polar regions would warm by much more than the average, perhaps by as much as 10C or 12C. That prediction is already coming true – last year the Arctic sea ice melted to a new record low. This year may well set another record.
"Nor were the Jasons frightened of drawing the obvious conclusions for civilisation: the cause for concern was clear when one noted “the fragility of the world’s crop-producing capacity, particularly in those marginal areas where small alterations in temperature and precipitation can bring about major changes in total productivity”.
….But a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.
“The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied,” the experts wrote in an internal report compiled for the coalition in 1995.
The coalition was financed by fees from large corporations and trade groups representing the oil, coal and auto industries, among others. In 1997, the year an international climate agreement that came to be known as the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated, its budget totaled $1.68 million, according to tax records obtained by environmental groups....
.George Monbiot, a British environmental activist and writer, said that by promoting doubt, industry had taken advantage of news media norms requiring neutral coverage of issues, just as the tobacco industry once had. ...
.Others, like Exxon Mobil, now recognize a human contribution to global warming and have largely dropped financial support to groups challenging the science. …
Just like the tobacco industry did, the scientific research in 1995 laid out a long term future where carbon dioxide would cause damage to the stability of the climate. However, just like tobacco, the profits were just too attractive to the existing businesses who made their money from the extraction of fossil fuels, so how to maintain profit levels for a toxic product, if not confuse and distract with your own counter argument, science and media campaign.
A few books laying out in detail the vast effort to maintain an addiction to fossil fuels.
Continuous consumption of cheap energy has been the mechanism by which the standard of living of people around the world has increased. First the consumption of coal in Europe kicking off the industrial revolution, followed by Americas recognition of the vast advantages using stored sunlight, oil, could bring.
I have talked about this in a previous diary, laying out the need for energy and how much we use each day.
As you can see by the flow chart below, without energy, modern society stops.
So we need energy, it needs to be affordable and it needs to be available to all without discrimination.
I have discussed once before that our appetite for energy is voracious. In the clip shown here it shows that if we were simply consuming the energy we needed to keep our bodies functioning, we would consume 8 mars bars equivalent for women, and 10 for men or 2,000 and 2,500 calories respectively. However on average we each actually consume, in the US, Canada and Australia, almost 100 times this amount.
Or if you like we need this much in terms of energy for our bodies to function.
Or this much for us to live as we have become accustomed in the developed countries.
As we use so much energy to live our modern lives, you would think that the number one priority would be to ensure that the energy we use is as sustainable as possible, in other words if we can grow it, harness it, harvest it or capture it as opposed to digging up a finite resource and burning it, then government policy should make this a priority.
However what appears to have happened is what I have just demonstrated to you above. A small group of people figured out a long time ago that if they have something you need each and every day of your life, and they are the only ones that have it, they can pretty much charge what they believe you can afford?
I'll not get into this too much, as it starts down a road best travelled by others, but here are a few choice links which build a picture for you.
1870-1911: Standard Oil was a predominant American integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as an Ohio corporation, it was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational corporations until it was broken up by the United States Supreme Court in 1911.
1879: Karl Benz, working independently, was granted a patent for his internal combustion engine, a reliable two-stroke gas engine, based on the same technology as Nikolaus Otto's design of the four-stroke engine. Later, Benz designed and built his own four-stroke engine that was used in his automobiles, which were developed in 1885, patented in 1886, and became the first automobiles in production.
1911: The Seven Sisters of the petroleum industry
1900: Rudolf Diesel demonstrated the diesel engine in the 1900 Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) using peanut oil fuel (see biodiesel).
29 September 1913: Diesel boarded the post office steamer, He was never seen alive again. Ten days later, the crew of the Dutch boat "Coertsen" came upon the corpse of a man floating in the sea. The body was in such an advanced state of decomposition that they did not bring it aboard. Instead, the crew retrieved personal items (pill case, wallet, pocket knife, eyeglass case) from the clothing of the dead man, and returned the body to the sea.
1931 Thomas Edison: not long before he died, the inventor told his friends Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone: “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
1962: Theiss Peabody Mitsui opens Moura mine, the first major Australian export coal mine in the Bowen Basin, Queensland.
1969: Australias first oil and gas starts flowing. Gippsland Gas Processing and Crude OilStabilisation Plant officially opened by Sir Arthur Rylah,Deputy Premier of Victoria...
..the Longford gas plant was owned by a joint partnership between Esso and BHP. Esso was a wholly owned subsidiary of US based company Exxon
1974: Democrats, opened impeachment hearings against the President on May 9, 1974...
Nixon resigned the office of the presidency on August 9, 1974
1974: Rupert Murdoch and the Australian opposition party refuse to work with the existing Australian government after a policy of government oversight of Australia's oil, gas and mineral assets is proposed.
In 1972, Murdoch acquired the Sydney morning tabloid The Daily Telegraph from Australian media mogul Sir Frank Packer, … Murdoch threw his growing power behind the Australian Labor Party under the leadership of Gough Whitlam and duly saw it elected... in 1972 on a social platform that included universal free health care, free education for all Australians to tertiary level, recognition of the People's Republic of China, and public ownership of Australia's oil, gas and mineral resources. Rupert Murdoch's flirtation with Whitlam turned out to be brief. As the Whitlam government began to lose public support following its re-election in 1974, Murdoch turned against Whitlam and supported the Governor-General's dismissal of the Prime Minister.
Murdoch had become close to Gough Whitlam, then leader of the Australian Labor Party, and gave A$75,000 to the party's advertising campaign in 1972. If this was a return to Murdoch's earlier radicalism, it was short-lived. Within three years his papers were attacking the Labor Party again, with The Australian, for example, using raw figures, rather than seasonally adjusted ones, to suggest, wrongly, that unemployment was rising.
1975: On 11 November 1975, the Governor-General dismissed Whitlam as Prime Minister and appointed Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister
1977: James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. (born October 1, 1924) served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981...
He established a national energy policy that included conservation, price control, and new technology.
He encouraged energy conservation, installed solar panels in the White House.
He wore a sweater on April 17, 1977 and delivered a fireside chat where he famously declared that the energy situation was the moral equivalent of war while clenching his fist.
1979: The Iranian hostage crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States where 53 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981
1981: January 20, 1981, Ronald Reagan succeeds Jimmy Carter, as the 40th President of the United States. Minutes later, Iran releases the 52 Americans held for 444 days, ending the Iran hostage crisis.
1980: Carter, a former peanut farmer and naval nuclear engineer: How to solve an energy crunch in a nation utterly dependent on fossil fuel?
Then Carter lost re-election to Ronald Reagan in 1980. The solar panels at the White House eventually came down - and Reagan and his aides gutted the solar research program.
"In June or July of 1981, on the bleakest day of my professional life, they descended on the Solar Energy Research Institute, fired about half of our staff and all of our contractors, including two people who went on to win Nobel prizes in other fields, and reduced our $130 million budget by $100 million," recalls Denis Hayes, the founder of Earth Day, who had been hired by Carter to spearhead the solar initiative.
Reagan and Congress stopped aggressively pushing new auto efficiency standards, acceding to Detroit's desire to leave them at Carter-era levels. They let the solar tax benefit expire, and the nascent solar industry went belly- up.
1984: Amoco Oil pulled factory loan to takeover of Solarex Corporation factory in Frederick, Maryland.
1985: On 4 September 1985, Murdoch became a naturalised citizen to satisfy the legal requirement that only United States citizens could own American television stations
1986: the Metromedia deal closed, and the Fox Broadcasting Company was launched.
Murdoch praised the work of its chairman and promised that the station would retain total independence without interference. Two weeks after the tribunal approved the change of ownership, the chief executive was replaced by a News Ltd. director with no television experience; two months later the chairman resigned.
During 1985, Murdoch and his closest advisers planned the removal of all the News International papers from the Fleet Street area, the traditional base for national newspapers, to a plant at Wapping, in east London, where troubled relations with the print unions could be superseded by a single union agreement with the Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union (EETPU). Electronic typesetting equipment was ordered, but kept hidden from the print workers; the EETPU recruited new production staff, and then, when the plant was ready, the journalists on the four newspapers were given from one to three days to move or to leave the company and the plant began producing papers in January 1986. It was not only the 5,500 sacked print workers who felt somewhat betrayed after this dramatic move. The EETPU never did get a single union agreement, and News International did not recognize any trade unions.
Another way was to restructure the subsidiaries so that a higher proportion of group profits could be made in tax havens, such as Bermuda. In 1989, 25 percent of profits were attributed to tax haven companies; in 1990 the proportion was 54.5 percent, and News Corp.'s effective tax rate was 1.76 percent rather than the statutory 39 percent.
1988: James Hansen ... testimony on climate change to congressional committees in 1988 that helped raise broad awareness of global warming, and his advocacy of action to limit the impacts of climate change.
1988-1991: AMOCO/Enron used Solarex patents to sue ARCO Solar out of the business of a-Si
1993: Tony Snow, a conservative columnist on the payroll of Rupert Murdoch's Fox TV, introduces New York City literary agent Lucianne Goldberg to Linda Tripp, as Goldberg is seeking contracts for anti-Clinton books
1995: Industry Ignored Its Scientists on Climate
1995/96: Newscorp key events
Australias cable TV service Foxtel begins Fox News channel launched Star TV Japan Launched Britains BSkyB enter the FTSE 100 Index
BSkyB signs an extension of its Premier League rights for £670 million
Newscorp begins a Rugby Superleague war A new competition, to be called Star League, was announced on 1 April 1995
1996: John Winston Howard, AC (born 26 July 1939) was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007.
1996: Shutdown of the very promising Aquatic Species Program - Algae based fuels.
1997: The treaty was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, opened for signature on 16 March 1998, and closed on 15 March 1999.
1998: Bill Clinton, President of the United States, was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 19, 1998, and acquitted by the Senate on February 12, 1999.
1999: GM Kill the Electric Car EV1
2000: with some 85% of the votes counted in Florida and Bush leading Gore by more than 100,000 votes, the networks, starting with Fox News, declared that Bush had carried Florida and therefore had been elected President.
2000: The United States and Australia have failed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, even though they both signed it in 1997.
2001: The Enron scandal, revealed in October 2001...Its ties to the Bush administration
2005: In 1995 American drivers burned about 17 million more gallons of gasoline a day than the country produced, according to the government's Energy Information Administration. The difference was made up for by imports.
By 2005, the latest figures available, the gap had widened considerably to about 36 million.
2005: In October 2006, Peabody completed an acquisition of Excel Coal Limited, an independent coal company in Australia. Peabody owns five other mines in Australia, which are all located in Queensland.
2007: BP is Back to Petroleum. Britain’s oil giant is returning to the fold and quietly shedding its emphasis on alternative energies. Mr Hayward, it seems, is more focused on value investors than environmental campaigners.
2007: Shell, the oil company that recently trumpeted its commitment to a low carbon future by signing a pre-Bali conference communique, has quietly sold off most of its solar business.
2007: A $6 million lawsuit has been filed against Chevron Technology Ventures, the oil giant’s technology investment and commercialization arm...is alleging that Chevron breached their limited partnership agreement, undermining the project and causing revenue losses. The suit also claims that while Chevron used its involvement to “green wash” their media image they withheld financial and technical assistance.
2007: Unlike its rivals, Exxon Mobil doesn't much care about alternative fuels and doesn't try to please the greens. Is CEO Rex Tillerson nuts - or shrewd?
2008: Shell sees coal still a key energy source over coming decades.
LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Coal will remain one of the world's main sources of energy over the next 40 years, even replacing oil as the dominant fuel once supply "plateaus" after 2015, said Jeremy Bentham, vice president of Royal Dutch Shell PLC.
He told reporters in a news conference coal demand will continue to grow but oil and gas supply is likely to peak sometime between 2015 and 2020. This will occur even at the back of mounting pressure to reduce the use of coal as a measure to curb carbon emissions.
2008: New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. During the Jan. 5 debates in Manchester, N.H., he said, "We haven't built a refinery, I think, in 30 years."
It's been more than 30 years, said Bill Holbrook, communications director for the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, an industry trade group. The last spanking-new refinery built in the United States was the Marathon Oil refinery in Garyville, La., in 1976.
2008: BP shuts Sydney solar plant
2008: Shell Ditches British Wind Farm, Mere days after reporting first-quarter profits of £4bn
2008: Exxon has long adopted a stance that renewable energy will be a negligible part of the energy mix for the foreseeable future, and that operational and market conditions will remain static and relatively unchanging.
2008: Shell to quit wind projects
Shell, Danish firm Dong Energy and Scottish Power have cancelled the £800m Cirrus Array project off the northwest coast after five years and millions of pounds in investment.
2009: BP Gives up on Jatropha for Biofuel
2009: BP shuts alternative energy HQ
• Renewables budget will be reduced by up to £550m this year
2009: The 1GW Solar Factory, a Dream Deferred. A year ago, it seemed like gigawatt-sized solar factories were just around the corner, with companies such as Sharp and Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary Showa Shell Sekiyu unveiling plans to build 1 GW thin-film solar plants.
2009: Utegate fake controversy to avoid Australian politicians discussing dealing with carbon dioxide emissions.
2009: Blankenship "But as long as we're wasting such huge amounts of money on renewables and nonsense--like CCS [carbon capture and sequestration] or whatever--we're not going to have those funds."
2009: TRUenergy pulls plug on Solar Systems. Solar Systems' $420 million, 154-megawatt project near Mildura was touted as the world's largest and most efficient solar photovoltaic power station when TRUenergy came on board last year.It signed a $285m development agreement for the Mildura project, as well as paying $40m for a 20 per cent stake in Solar Systems.
But TRUenergy's Hong Kong-based parent, CLP, has decided to write off its entire $HK346m ($53m) investment in Solar Systems.
TRUenergy’s generations assets include the Yallourn Power Station, the third largest generator in Victoria. This 1450MW power station supplies 22% of Victoria’s electricity and 8% of national market needs. The Yallourn mine is the largest open cut coalmine in Australia with reserves to meet the projected needs of the power station to 2032.
1. ExxonMobil 3. Royal Dutch Shell plc 4. BP plc 6. Total S.A. 7. Chevron Corp. 8. Saudi Aramco 10. ConocoPhillips 1. Exxon Mobil 2. Wal-Mart Stores 3. General Motors 4. Ford Motor 5. General Electric 6. Citigroup 7. Enron 8. International Business Machines 9. AT New York 10. Verizon Communications
Notice anything strange about the two lists above?
Lets say you have built a business, one selling about 900 chocolate bars per day to every single person in your country. There are only a certain number of chocolate bars in your country, and by the middle of the century, 1950's or so, you are running out. No problem really as you know there are plenty of chocolate bars in other countries. You just have to figure out a way to make sure you control the sale of them to the people in your country. Now lets say after you have established import relationships with the country which owns the chocolate bars someone comes on the market with apples and wants to grow them sustainably and replace the unhealthy chocolate bars. You know that the profit margin is not there in growing and selling apples, you can't control them, so the best thing to do is make sure apples never become a replacement for the chocolate bars.
That is kind of what the fossil fuel industry have done with renewables. Consider just how effective they have been with current primary sources of energy looking like the chart below.
If we go back to 2007 we see overwhelmingly of the oil used, the United States uses the most.
We then need to consider that when the fact became known that the United States used so much oil from overseas would become more and more, when the problem was identified in the 1970's people fought tooth and nail to keep America addicted to oil. And they weren't nice and fair about it. America is importing more oil than it is producing internally and things are looking to get worse.
And now that the apple trees have been ploughed into the ground after years of effort, the only thing left in the market are chocolate bars. Guess where all the remaining resources of oil are. Just when Americas dependence could not be any greater.
World reserves of oil
So to take that analogy to its logical end, you don't own apple trees, you don't have many chocolate bars left, and the reason you got to this situation was on purpose because of people unwilling to consider an alternative. Once government policy was in place to promote chocolate bars alone, it needs politicians from both sides to co-operate to improve or change it. If the chocolate bar guys can control just one side enough to stop any change to policy or develop apple tree farms......
US government make up 1945-2009