Trump claims America no longer needs to conserve oil. Use it to water your lawn!

  • Published on August 23rd, 2018

The United States has so much oil, it doesn’t need to conserve it any more. That’s according to a memo quietly released by the Energy Department last month in support of the EPA’s decision to cancel scheduled increases in fuel economy standards for automobiles and light trucks. Based on a report by the Associated Press, multiple news sources including The Guardian and Time say the latest policy position by the Energy Department is that conserving oil is no longer an economic priority for the nation.

Oil spilled from ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas neighborhood, March 29, 2013 (Photo courtesy U.S. EPA)
Oil spilled from ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas neighborhood, March 29, 2013 (Photo courtesy U.S. EPA)


Thanks to America’s passion for fracking, it now has abundant natural gas supplies and doesn’t need to import as much oil from other countries. That “in turn affects the need of the nation to conserve energy,” says the Energy Department memo. All that lovely shale gas is giving “the United States more flexibility than in the past to use our oil resources with less concern.” Of course, America must still use its energy resources “wisely,” whatever that means.

As renewables have reduced the amount of carbon emissions from generating electricity, the transportation sector has become the largest source of greenhouse gas emission in the US. Nevertheless, the Blowhard In Chief and his henchmen feel there is some part of the Constitution that guarantees Americans the right to burn as much gasoline as they want in perpetuity. It’s what makes America great!

It’s all part of a game of “mine’s bigger than yours” being played on a global scale by Trump. The largest oil producing nation is by definition the greatest country in the world. “Our ability to play that role as a leader in the world is stronger when we are the strongest producer of oil and gas,” said John Graham, a former official in the George W Bush administration and now dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. “But there are still reasons to want to reduce the amount we consume.”

Oil says the US will be the largest petroleum producer sometime next year when it hits production of 11.7 million barrels a day — more than either Russia or Saudi Arabia. Yet the US consumes nearly 20 million barrels per day, so even with its abundance it is not energy independent. The rollback of fuel efficiency standards will cause Americans to consume an additional 500,000 barrels a day of oil. An adult would know better than to squander available supplies even if they are plentiful, but there appear to be no adults anywhere in Trumperica.

So go out and party like it’s 1999, America. They can have the keys to our pickup trucks when they pry them from our cold, dead fingers. Climate change? Fuhgedabowdit. We’re Americans and we can do any damned thing we please. It says so in the Constitution…..doesn’t it?

(Originally appeared at our sister-site, Cleantechnica. Photo by US EPA)

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writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island. You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.