It has been stated as a national goal that the US wants to become energy independent. A summary follows that gives the current situation and an analysis of some of the approaches being advocated. Also see Shootout:
Do We Need To Limit CO2 Emissions?
Detailed Calculations

Crude oil data (gallons per US family):
Total yearly crude oil usage:                                2792
Total yearly US crude oil production:                      692
Current "proved" US oil reserves:                          7735

Savings from conservation (gallons per family):
Estimate maximum reduction of 15%:                    419
Conclusion: Helps but does not solve problem.

Drill in off-limits areas! (gallons per family):
Estimated reserves in new offshore sites:              6639
Estimated reserves in ANWR, Alaska:                  3836
Conclusion: Helps but not a long term solution.

Corn or switchgrass ethanol (gallons per family):
Maximum possible yearly ethanol
production if 100% of US crop land used:              1076
Total yearly ethanol possible if all the
leaves in US forests were converted to ethanol:       384
Conclusion: Ethanol takes too much land area.

Biodiesel from algae (most oil per acre):
Square-Miles of land area to produce
100% of the US oil needs (sq-miles):                 99,156
Note: Colorado is 104,094 square miles in size.
Cost to construct the facilities to produce
100% of US oil needs (per family):                 $242,753
Conclusion: Biodiesel facilities will require too
much land and the facilities will cost too much.

Alternate fossil resources (gallons per family):
Estimated oil in western state oil shale
(not currently commercially viable):            113,879,801
Estimated synthetic fuel that could be
made from just half of the US coal:                  269,543
Conclusion: These alternate fossil resources will need to be used to supplement our transportation energy needs until electric vehicles dominate.

July 27, 2008

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The following is the US trade data for March 2008 apportioned to a typical US family.
Also checkout Shootout: 
        Is the Current Trade Deficit a Big Problem?
March 2008 Trade Summary:
Trade deficit for month per family:            $  511
Total imports for month per family:           $1828
Total exports for month per family:           $1317

March 2008 Imports by Category:
Crude oil:                                              $  232
Cars and automotive parts:                     $  179
Consumer goods:                                  $  347
Computers and accessories:                  $   79
Services (Including travel and royalties):   $  293

March 2008 Exports by Category:
Grain and other agricultural goods:          $    83
Cars and automotive parts:                     $    84
Consumer goods:                                  $  110
Computers and accessories:                  $    31
Semiconductors:                                   $    38
Civilian Aircraft:                                     $    27
Services (Including travel and royalties):   $  384

Editors Comment:
March data was used because it was the most current month for which data was available. Note that the crude oil portion covers not only the gasoline you purchase directly, but also includes the diesel used by all the companies transport your food and other products to you. The data shows that the average family

June 7, 2008
These two private companies were set up by the U.S. Government with the goal of encouraging home ownership. They were to buy mortgages from banks, bundle them and then sell securities backed by these mortgages to big investors, including foreign countries (10%). They make money by the difference in interest rates between what they were paid verses the interest they paid on their securities. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were able to pay lower interest rates than comparable private mortgage companies because of the implied U.S. Government (taxpayers) backing.
                                         Total        Per Family
Total U.S. Mortgages        $12 Trillion     $105,374
F-Mae & F-Mac Total        $  6 Trillion     $  52,687

Because of their poor lending practices, a steep increase in foreclosures and the drop in home values, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac potentially were going default on some of their payments. The U.S. Congress just passed a bill designed to rescue these two companies by providing access to a line of credit from the U.S. Treasury and authorizing FHA to buy up to $300 Billion ($2634 per household) in failing mortgages from them.  The intent of the bill is to prevent the chaos in the credit market and prestige of the USA if either was allowed to default. The down side is that the U.S. taxpayer is potentially going to have to absorb some of their losses. Depending on how the housing problem shakes out, the amount that the taxpayers will be forced to pickup is estimated to be between $0 to $100 Billion ($878 per household).

August 5, 2008

July 13, 2008