Gidget and The Geezer probably don’t lie every time they open their mouths. I’m sure that sometimes they just misspeak themselves through the rationalization that if a ton of their B.S. was screened carefully enough at least one kernel of truth would almost certainly be found. Take the situation regarding the contribution made to U.S. energy resources by energy production from Alaska. They famously and repeatedly state that Alaska “produces nearly 20% of the U.S. domestic supply of energy”. Then there’s the facts!
It’s simply untrue that Alaska produces anything close to 20 percent of the U.S. “energy supply,” a term that is generally defined as energy consumed. That category includes power produced in the U.S. by nuclear, coal, hydroelectric dams and other means – as well as all the oil imported into the country. Palin would have been correct to say that Alaska produces just over 14 percent of all the oil produced in the U.S., leaving out imports and leaving out other forms of power. According to the federal government’s Energy Information Administration, Alaskan wells produced 263.6 million barrels of oil in 2007, or 14.3 percent of the total U.S. production of 1.8 billion barrels. But Alaskan production accounts for only 4.8 percent of all the crude oil and petroleum products supplied to the U.S. in 2007, counting both domestic production and imports from other nations. According to EIA, the total supply was just over 5.5 billion barrels in 2007. Furthermore, Palin said “energy,” not “oil,” so she was actually much further off the mark. According to EIA, Alaska actually produced 2,417.1 trillion BTUs [British Thermal Units] of energy in 2005, the last year for which full state numbers are available. That’s equal to just 3.5 percent of the country’s domestic energy production. And according to EIA analyst Paul Hess, that would calculate to only “2.4 percent of the 100,368.6 trillion BTUs the U.S. consumes.”