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Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Reagan on Oil

June 15, 1977

Maybe what I'm about to say could be called; "What we should know about oil." Hopefully it will still some troubled waters.

I've been out around the country recently in a number of states filling some speaking engagements. When you do this you usually meet members of the press who have a question or two. Of late those questions have had to do with my remarks about the proposed energy legislation and why I don't buy the C.I.A. report quoted by the President which has us running out of oil in about 30 years.

Well, it's true. I don't buy that report and if the President (Carter) does then isn't his plea for conservation to reduce consumption by 10% rather futile? If all the oil is going to be gone in 30 years does it really make much difference if we make it last 33?

I don't believe it will be gone in 30 or 33 years. In 1914 the U.S. Bureau of Mines projected future production of Crude oil at 5.7 billion barrels. Since then we've produced 34 billion. Incidentally about that same time we were told there was no hope of ever finding oil in Texas or Kansas.

In 1920 we were told we'd be out of oil in 15 years. Nineteen years later in 1939 the Department of Interior told us we'd run out in 13 years. Since then we have discovered more than the total known oil reserves we had at that time.

In 1948 the proven reserves in all of the free world amounted to 62.3 billion barrels. Within 24 years there were nine times as many. In 1949 our Department of Interior said the end of the U.S. oil supply was in sight. We increased production in the next five years by a million barrels a day. By 1970 known world reserves were six times as large as they were in 1950...

Seven years ago we were producing 9.6 million barrels every day - now we're only pumping 8.1. The decline is caused by restrictions imposed by government. Having reduced production the government now proposes that we reduce consumption.

--President Ronald Reagan. Reagan In His Own Hand, The Writings of Ronald Reagan that Reveal His revolutionary Vision for America, Copyright 2001.