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U.S., Saudis Top Oil Guzzlers - Sierra Daily

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Sierra Daily

Sep 21, 2011

U.S., Saudis Top Oil Guzzlers

Oil consumption 
Here's a meaty (albeit annoyingly colored) graph from Stuart Saniford on world oil consumption (click for larger view). For the most part the world is trundling along in the 5-barrel-per-person-per-year range. Next come the more developed nations, with gradually declining use since the 1970s. (One of Saniford's commenters points out that this is largely due to Europeans finding other ways to produce electricity than burning oil. There was also the small matter of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo.) Flying high above all the others are the Saudis (who use large amounts for power generation and desalination, let alone driving around the desert in Hummers) and the United States. Since a previous Saniford graph established that "Peak Oil" happened some time ago, we are, he argues, merely reallocating the world supply:

Broadly speaking then, the developed countries have been cutting per-capita oil consumption and will be doing so further, in order to make room for consumption in the more rapidly growing economies of the developing world.  There are two ways for these cuts in consumption to happen: use oil more efficiently in the economy, or have less economy. Since 2005, in the US, we are mainly taking the second approach.

Ouch! There's another way, of course: We could get Beyond Oil.

--Paul Rauber

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