Why You Should Stop Worrying About Oil Shortages

We're well-stocked for any realistic calamities
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2008 1:18 PM CDT
In this Sept. 2, 2005 file photo, oil company's reserve tanks stand along the Tokyo Bay in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)
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(Newser) – Energy security has become a matter of major public hand-wringing, but everyone ought to calm down, write Eugene Gholz and Daryl G. Press in the New York Times. Our oil supplies are perfectly safe—the US, its businesses, and its allies have more than enough oil to weather any short-term disruption in supplies. No matter the trouble in Iran, Venezuela or Nigeria, America will be fine.

The source of this security is the strategic petroleum reserve, the government’s 700-million-barrel rainy-day supply, and similar stockpiles around the world. Some fret that the amount is minuscule considering the 20 million barrels Americans consume each day, but it is more than sufficient to cover, say, the 2.5 million barrels Iran exports. If Iran tried to cut off exports, it would lose 80% of national revenue—and the US would be OK.