Last week President Trump spoke to business leaders at a dinner. Daniel Dale, the Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star, posted several tweets about the dinner. In one, he wrote “Quick fact check: Trump spoke to business leaders for 14 minutes at dinner tonight. He made 15 false claims.”
Several of the reported claims were related to energy, but one in particular caught my eye. The second “false” claim listed was “…unleashing American energy, where we’re now the largest in the world.” It isn’t clear whether the President was talking about all energy, or just oil.
But Mr. Dale’s fact check read: “U.S. government projects U.S. will be largest oil producer in 2023.”
If President Trump was talking about total energy production, he is absolutely correct. Further, per the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the U.S. has been the world’s largest oil producer since 2014 (primarily because BP counts natural gas liquids as oil). I pointed this out to Mr. Dale on his Twitter feed.
According to this year’s BP Statistical Review of World Energy, in 2017 the U.S. ranked:
• #1 in total energy production
• #1 in oil production
• #1 in natural gas production
• #1 in nuclear power
• #1 in geothermal power
• #1 in biofuels
• #2 in wind power
• #2 in solar power
• #2 in coal production
• #4 in hydropower
To be clear, the U.S. did assume the global lead in energy production early during President Obama’s second term. However, U.S. energy production has continued to grow nearly every year since, and currently stands at an all-time high.
To Mr. Dale’s credit, about half an hour after I pointed out that the U.S. is indeed the world’s top energy producer, he issued a mea culpa (but not before the original fact-check had spread to other sites): “I messed up on #2 here. The US government revised its oil estimate in July and now says the US might become top crude producer as soon as next year. And if you broadly define “energy” to include more than oil, the US has been the world’s top producer for some time.”
I commend him for correcting the record on this point.
|Robert Rapier for OilPrice.com|