Energy from Oil
In 2004, the United States consumed 20.7 million barrels of oil. 60% of that came from foreign nations, of which half came from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Venezuela, and Nigeria. The U.S. oil reserves are in decline as is its processing capability, with no major refineries built in the past 30 years.
Pennsylvania ranks near the bottom in oil production at 11,000 barrels per day, mostly derived from wells that produce less than 10 barrels/day, and it has 1% of the known U.S. reserves. On the other hand, Pennsylvania consumes 32 million barrels of oil per day, which is the 6th highest consumption in the U.S. 26% of homes in Pennsylvania are heated with oil, mostly in the eastern half of the state. The state also has major refining capability in the Philadelphia region.
West Virginia ranks even lower in oil production and has a single major refinery. It consumes 5.9 million barrels per day so that most of its oil is imported into the state.
Both Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania and Governor Joe Manchin of West Virginia have declared a goal of energy independence for their respective states. Both states are fortunately rich in coal, which opens the door to a substitute for imported oil - the conversion of coal to liquids, including coal to diesel. Pennsylvania has provided significant incentives toward the construction of the nation's first waste coal-to-liquids plant in Schuylkill County. It will produce 40 million gallons of sulphur-free fuel annually plus electricity from waste heat. West Virginia is in the planning stages for its first coal-to-liquids plant.
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©2007 Janet S. Lauer Consulting. All rights reserved.