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Oil Well that ends well?

I got an email about oil imports. It makes the typical claims that any chain mail type email makes - claims to quote important reputable sources and states the statistics are "available on the web." Here's the text of the mail. Let's deconstruct it, shall we?

Yisrael Medad of the Begin Center sent the following information. Every time you fill up the car, you can avoid putting more money into the coffers of Saudi Arabia. Just buy from gas companies that don't import their oil from the Saudis.

Fact: There is a Yisrael Medad and he does work at the Begin Center.

Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling that every time I fill-up the tank, I am sending my money to people who are trying to kill me, my family, and my friends. I thought it might be interesting for you to know which oil companies are the best to buy gas from.

Fact: This is the email writer's opinion.

Major companies that import Middle Eastern oil (for the period 9/1/00 -8/31/01).

  • Shell 205,742,000 barrels
  • Chevron/Texaco 144,332,000
  • Exxon/Mobil 130,082,000
  • Marathon 117,740,000
  • Amoco 62,231,000

Fact: Where did these come from?

If you do the math at $30/barrell, these imports amount to over $18 BILLION! Fact: While it's fun to do the math at $30 a barrel, Oil is more like $20 these days.

Here are some large companies that do not import Middle Eastern oil: Citgo, Sunoco, Conoco, Sinclair, BP Philips.

Fact: I have no idea. If the person in the email isn't going to document it, I'm not bothering to look it up either. However, just because Conoco isn't buying oil from Saudi Arabia, note their operations in Malaysia, another 'terrorist hotbed.' Does your money go to terrorists there? Probably not. A very simplistic arguement. Like this email.

All of this information is available from the Department of Energy and can be easily documented. Refineries located in the U.S. are required to state where they get their oil and how much they are importing. They report on a monthly basis.

Fact:It's quite possible that Companies do report this. You find it. I spent about 30 minutes trying.

Keep this list in your car; share it with friends. Stop paying for terrorism.

Fact: I have no basis to judge exactly how much of my oil dollar is going to terrorism. However, I'm not going to let an email influence my purchases, unless the writer is going to do some legwork and prove it.

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Last update: 8/23/2002; 8:56:33 PM.