Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama's Energy Plan: Hot Air.... your tires.

I'm glad this is on youtube, otherwise, it is hard to believe. Obama claims that if only we all just properly inflated our tires, we would save as much gasoline as "all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling. "

Writes Power Line:

The stunned silence with which the crowd greets this howler suggests that most Americans have a more practical understanding of energy consumption than Obama.

Just for fun, I did the math. Properly inflating your tires can improve gas mileage by 3%. Of course, many people already keep their tires properly inflated, and many more are at least close to being properly inflated. Let's be generous and assume that one-half of the total possible savings would be realized if we all inflated our tires properly; that's a net gain of 1.5% fuel efficiency.

Americans drive approximately 2,880 billion miles per year. If we average 24 mpg, we use around 120 billion gallons of gasoline in our vehicles. If, through perfect tire inflation, we improved our collective fuel efficiency by 1.5%, that would be 1.8 billion gallons. A barrel of oil produces around 20 gallons of gasoline, so the total savings available through tire inflation is approximately 90,000,000 barrels of oil annually.

How does this stack up against "all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling?"

ANWR: 10 billion barrels
Outer Continental Shelf: 18 billion barrels (estimated; the actual total is undoubtedly much higher, since exploration has been banned)
Oil shale: 1 trillion barrels

So, on the above assumptions, it would take only 11,308 years of proper tire inflation to equal "all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling."


  1. And wear sweaters!

  2. McCain thinks that Iraq and Afghanistan share a border.

    Which is more boneheaded? One that requires a bit of assumptions and a few calculations or one that requires one good eye and a recent map of the world?