TRR: Obama's Natural Gas

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In Nevada on Thursday while touting his energy policies, President Obama attempted to highlight the U.S. natural gas advantage. “We are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas,” he declared. Apparently he was trying to say that we are number one, like Saudi Arabia is in oil.

But Mr. Obama’s rhetorical flourish does not square with the facts. Saudi Arabia does not have the #1 proven petroleum reserves, being edged out by Venezuela. And “We are #2!” just doesn’t resonate on the campaign trail.

More noteworthy is that while the United States has the sixth largest proven natural gas reserves, Saudi Arabia has the fifth largest. Russia is the leader in that category, with seven times the U.S. reserves. So Mr. Obama’s claim that the U.S. is “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas” says that at best we are #5 in the world, not #6. Maybe by his standards that’s an achievement. This talking point will probably remain in our fact-resistant chief executive’s inventory. But saying America is “the Saudi Arabia” of anything doesn’t really resonate.

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About the Author

James S. Robbins

James S. Robbins, Ph.D., former Senior Editorial Writer for Foreign Affairs, was formerly professor of international relations at the National Defense University, associate professor of international relations at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College and special assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense under Donald Rumsfeld. Dr. Robbins is author of the recently released "This Time ...

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