Tkx B.O.!

got gas?

Yeah; Iran, blablabla, OPEC, yaddayadda, poo.

Fact: Just 9.8% of oil consumed in the U.S. comes from the Middle East.

According the U.S. Energy Information Administration*, the U.S. consumes 19.2 million barrels of petroleum products per day. Of that amount, a net 49% is produced domestically. The rest is imported.

Where is it imported from? Only a small fraction comes from the Middle East, and that fraction has been declining in recent years. Last year, imports from the Persian Gulf region — which includes Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — made up 9.8%* of total petroleum supplied to the U.S. In 2001, that number was 14.1%.

While we’re at it:

Fact: China owns 7.6% of U.S. government debt outstanding.

As of November, China owned $1.13 trillion of Treasuries. Government debt stood at $14.9 trillion that month. That’s 7.6%.


Fact: Just 2.7% of personal consumption expenditures go to Chinese-made goods and services. 88.5% of U.S. consumer spending is on American-made goods and services.

… looking at physical goods alone, Chinese imports still account for just a small fraction of U.S. spending. Just 6.4% of nondurable goods — things like food, clothing and toys — purchased in the U.S. are made in China; 76.2% are made in America. For durable goods — things like cars and furniture — 12% are made in China; 66.6% are made in America.

Another way to grasp the value of Chinese-made goods is to look at imports. The U.S. imported $399 billion worth of goods from China last year, which is 2.7% of our $14.5 trillion economy.


The truth, surprising to many, is that real manufacturing output today is near an all-time high. What’s dropped precipitously in recent decades is manufacturing employment. Technology and automation has allowed American manufacturers to build more stuff with far fewer workers than in the past. One good example: In 1950, a U.S. Steel (X) plant in Gary, Ind., produced 6 million tons of steel with 30,000 workers. Today, it produces 7.5 million tons with 5,000 workers. Output has gone up; employment has dropped like a rock.

Just for knowin’….



  1. snap-e-tom
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 11:36 am |

    Well-written, informative post.

    Overall, we import about 60% of our oil.

    About 25% of our public debt is held by foreign governments.

    The annual trade deficit between the U.S. and China is around 300 billion.

    We’ve lost 2.5 million manufacturing jobs since 2001.

    The Misery Index

  2. Posted February 22, 2012 at 11:51 am |

    If you want to increase domestic oil use, roll back the 7 ppm sulfur content regs.

    They were put in place to encourage fuelcell tech and cat converters on diesels, which are incompatible with sulfur content in fuel.

    But no one took up the ball to run with it. So they should be rolled back.

    Most of the Alaska crude gets sold to Asia because of this.

  3. ZZMike
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |


    We must absolutely positively not ever never look for new oil deposits under our own ground, or where we might look (such as the Gulf of Mexico). It’s much better to lend Brazil and Soros billions so they can drill there and maybe sell it to us.

    From the data:

    Production between 1967 and 1988 ran from 10 million to 11.7 million barrels/day. Since then, it declined to 9 million in 2009 and 9.4 million in 2010.

    Production as a share of consumption was over 90% from 1949 to 1957, hit a low of 39% in 2005 & 2006, 49% in 2010. Net imports were under a million barrels/day up until 1956, rising to 8 million in 1979, over 10 million between 2000 and 2008. In 2010, imports were 49% of consumption.

    On that last item, it looks like steel workers will have to join the ranks of buggy-whip makers.

    But there’s more to the US Steel story:

    “In its first full year of operation, U.S. Steel made 67 percent of all the steel produced in the United States. It now produces less than 10 percent.
    . . .
    U.S. Steel’s production peaked at more than 35 million tons in 1953.
    . . .
    [in 1943] it had more than 340,000 employees;. . .”

    “North America accounted for 7.9% of the world’s total [steel production], with production in the USA increasing by 7.1% in the year to date to 86 million tonnes, …”
    . . .
    “China accounted for 45% of this total [global crude steel production estimated to be 1515 million tonnes in 2011], . . .”

    China’s imports & exports

    Table 2: Top US Exports to China, 2010 ($ billion)
    __________________________volume %change
    Electrical machinery and equipment 11.5 ____21.9
    Power generation equipment ___ 11.2 ___ 33.6

    . . .

    Table 3: Top US Imports from China, 2010 ($ billion)
    __________________________volume %change
    Electrical machinery and equipment 90.8 ___24.5
    Power generation equipment ___ 82.7 ___32.5

    I don’t know why those “top 2″ categories are both imports and exports. What’s obvious is that we import about 9 times as much as we export.

  4. geezerette
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm |

    WHY??? You’re wondering WHY?? Because we’re money grabbing Americans who use up all the earths recourses and are causing Global warming so there’s nothing left for the poor and starving in the world. Anyway– It’s Bushes fault!!!

  5. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm |

    A view through heavy lenses:

    Having endured one million and two point two hours of night school (mostly…) self-flogging toward and MBA in International Bidness, I think I can, if not explain, at least point out some of the features of a thing that Economists (…mostly flatpetered…) assigned a scary name to: Macroeconomics!

    Macroeconomics is something that has plagued or benefited (…depending upon your point of view…) human & proto-humans since before writing was invented. Fear not, I will not bore you with each case (…like I had to sit thru…) when one or two examples will explain it clearly. Macroeconomics affects large numbers of people, today usually living in a nation or nation-state.

    The examples I have chosen likely occurred during the lifetimes of most of us Porchers, Headmissey,aged 30 give or take, being the exception. When I was a boy, nearly every leather shoe Americans wore was manufactured in the Northeastern States of America (…Buster Brown shoes ring a bell?…). Generations of “up-East” families worked and retired in the shoe business. National transportation was designed around this product.
    But, the world moved on, advancing competition`s abilities to compete. Slowly, but surely, like water erosion, the Northeast USA tried but could not prevent the massive changes in consumer`s demand (…partly due to another new thing called advertising…) Well, the Northeast was forced out of a nearly exclusive hold on manufacturing shoes. During this “macro-transition” people were hurt but people ultimately “transitioned” (…an American trait…) to other professions.

    The same macro-transition happened in the Southeast of America where the nearness of cotton made them prominent in fabrics, like clothes and bedding materials, etc.

    Michigan & Detroit experienced the same thing with automobiles. California`s Napa Valley ended France`s exclusive production of wines and champaynes.

    Usually, normally, almost always macroeconomical events occur over decades and generations, but on rare occasions may be loosely called “overnight transitions”

    Beyond any doubts in my mind, America is essentially almost overnight transitioning to a nation on the cusp of being a world exporter of petroleum products. Politics, as usual, will attempt and fail to “Fuck It UP”!

    That seems to be their primary specialty….

  6. joe
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm |

    “Output has gone up; employment has dropped like a rock.”..

    So Obama was right…’s all them damned ATM’s.

  7. Freddie Sykes
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

    Oil is a fungible global commodity. It really does not matter whence we import a specific tanker of oil. The issue is that our importing of oil requires the export of wealth to pay for that oil.

  8. mojo
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm |

    Fact: oil co. profit margin: 4%
    Taxes: 15%

  9. TomR, armed in Texas
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

    I sure think more than 2.9% of my purchases are made in China. Sometimes ya gotta just look real hard to see those tiny 11 letters.

  10. mech
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

    As we change the top layer of administranium we need to re-open Yucca Mountain to dispose of toxic excessive regulations (and bureaucrats) that are hindering new businesses and potentially ‘The Next Big Thing’ that we Americans are historically so good at.

  11. TheOldMan
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm |

    Hey where did you find that cheap gas? In Silicon Valley it’s well over $4/gl for regular unleaded.

  12. Posted February 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm |

    Harry Reid needs to be the first permanent resident of Yucca Mountain.

  13. Paul
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm |

    As long as I can own my own worker robots that work for ME on the factory floor, and thus I get paid for the robots work. then automation is fine with me!

    And I bet it will have to work something like that for everyone to not have to work (short of the government owning ALL the robots and we are all on welfare.)

  14. Ironic in Denver
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm |


  15. Lance
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm |


    Claire, thanks for this extensive & very informative post.
    TTTT, I was stunned by most of the numbers & percentages.
    I didn’t realize how much erroneous information & perspectives
    I had been brainwashed with, plus the extreme exaggerated
    alarmism attached. To say nothing of the social calamity &
    collapse this would cause, etc, etc.

    I’m gonna re-read it, bookmark it & send to my peeps list.
    I also want to use your post as a valuable & important lesson
    about questioning other similar beliefs & opinions I & my friends
    have. Erroneous beliefs that may also be popular, distorted,
    biased, exaggerated, promulgated, etc.

  16. Paul Moore
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm |

    But… Jimmah Cahtah absolutely PROMISED to end our dependence on foreign oil!
    BTW I found a steel hammer once and BENT THE HANDLE trying to pull a 16 penny nail with it.
    It wasn’t made in the USA.

  17. geezerette
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm |

    F it Up first than take it over— Sorobama oil–

  18. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 10:06 pm |

    Nice article Claire. Ever contribute to editorial pages? If not, you should; somebody might learn some things.

  19. john
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 7:51 am |

    In the last six months every manufactured article I have bought, excpet maybe the sacks my groceries come in, was imported. Basically all of the things I bought say made in China on them.

    I suppose that possibly businesses are buying a lot of hardware made in the USA. Is that how the statistic was arrived at?

  20. ZZMike
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm |

    There’s two things I really wanna know: 1. Why do gas prices always have to end in an odd digit (not counting the last “9″)? One effect of that is that prices can only change by 2c.

    2. Why do gas prices change all over the country all at once? If Target raises its price on something, it won’t go up at Wal-Mart for a while. If I didn’t know better, I’d say there was some sort on evil cabal who met every morning at 3 and told the distributors what the price is gonna be today.

    2a. And if oil goes up $$ a barrel at the source, why does it go up cc a gallon at the pump? (Maybe the transit time isn’t all that long.)

  21. ZZMike
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 11:46 am |

    There’s an IKEA store near us. It’s a big-box, international, Swedish-themed furniture and home-stuff store. Everything has corny Swedish-style names: “Koppang” chest of drawers, “Ektorp” sofas, …

    They have a pretty good restaurant, serving Swedish dishes (meatballs, pastries &c) and Swedish coffee.

    One day I went through the stacks of stuff, looking for the labels.

    Everything is made in Asia: China, Indonesia, Viet Nam, …

    I dunno – maybe you have to go to China to get something “Made in the USA”.