Most of What Trump Said Was Election Year Malarky
It’s hard to know where to start. Let’s start with Whew! Calmer minds have taken over.
I think for such an important War or Peace speech, it would have been better if it wasn’t just a copy of his campaign speeches, praising himself. While dissing the Iran denuclearization deal of 2015 with major UN leaders, he could have stated that without it, Iran would have at least a dozen nuclear weapons by now, which would tie our hands, just like North Korea’s small nuclear arsenal has done. Yet, Trump again raised economic sanctions, which he usually insists that our trading partners also follow, or he will punish them. As for the promise of economic utopia for Iran if they would sign a comprehensive isolation agreement, they already signed the 2015 agreement with such expectations, and then Trump arrived to nullify it. Now, they would have to trust Trump again, who has nullified all US trade agreements! But, Trump also wants a Forever agreement, not the ten to fifteen year agreement that we had, until Trump destroyed it with the killing of Major General Soleimani.
Trump said the period of the 2015 agreement was almost over, but it had only run a half and a third of the major provisions, which would have lasted until 2025 and 2030, even beyond the Trump reign.
Trump wants NATO to get involved in the Middle East, after doing everything to insult and snub NATO, even waffling on defending some of their countries.
The $150 billion that we “gave” Iran for the deal was just a release of their money that was in foreign banks. Politico points out that the amount was estimated as $74 billion by Iran, and only $56 billion by the US treasury. Yes, they probably spent some on weapons. But it doesn’t match the $2.5 trillion that Trump has spent on the military budget. That also is an exaggeration, as it is about three years of the entire military budget. Trump’s increases are less than a trillion dollars. Not mentioned, is that the budget deficit is now a trillion dollars a year. Trump also added the $1.8 billion dollars in cash given to Iran, which was a major conservative conspiracy theory, which didn’t really matter in what form their holdings were transferred, for undelivered arms.
Trump again misled about the US being energy independent. Yes, we export some oil, where it is convenient. But overall, we import about 50% of our oil. Only 5% comes from the Persian Gulf. But that is a very self centered view. 20% of the world’s oil comes from the Persian Gulf, through the strait of Hormuz. And oil is fungible, and has to be competed for. The Saudi oil only costs $3 a barrel to produce, while US fracked oil is around $73 a barrel, and deep water is $57 a barrel. Increasing the price of oil matters a lot to consumers. A barrel of oil yields 42 gallons of gasoline, so the current $60 a barrel is about $1.43 a gallon of the price of gasoline, to which is added shipping, refining, state and federal taxes, and the distributor’s share. California imports 15% of its oil from the Persian Gulf. However, the recent rise of oil futures over Iran has now been totally soothed by Trump’s whitewash, and returned to normal. While the US has a slight lead at producing 11.0 million barrels a day, it is closely followed by Russia at 10.8 million bpd, and Saudi Arabia at 10.4 million bpd. Iraq follows at 4.6, and Iran at 4.3. World oil production is about 100 million bpd. The Saudis have about 20 days of their production stored in Europe and Asia.
US oil consumption was 20.5 million bpd in 2018, with 69% going to transportation, and 25% going to industrial. 9.3 million bpd was in gasoline, and 4.1 million bpd was in diesel and heating oil.
The US consumed in 2016 20% of world oil, China 13%, India 4.6%, Japan 4.1%, and Russia, 3.7%.
While we may be natural gas independent, that involves continued drilling and fracking of new wells every two years or so. That involves further environmental pollution, often in fossil fuel run states, which do almost nothing for environmental protection. Trump’s relaxation of EPA methane emissions rules, which is natural gas, contributes further to its potent greenhouse gas effects. California has to import 90% of its natural gas from out-of-state lines, including from Canada. The US produces and uses about 28 trillion cubic feet a year. It exports about 2.5 trillion cubic feet, but imports about the same amount from Canada. Our exports are projected to soon rise to about 9 trillion cubic feet a year.
My previous articles on California Oil are here.