In remarks that raised some eyebrows in the audience, the nation’s top transportation official said this week that there is an “unlimited supply of oil” in parts of the world.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made that statement Wednesday at Virginia Commonwealth University at the end of a town hall meeting attended by about 75 students, staff, and faculty members.
In the last question of the hour-long meeting, Vicente Gonzalez, a junior majoring in social justice at VCU, asked LaHood about a previous statement he made regarding future standards for automobile efficiency.
“I was wondering,” Gonzalez said, “you said that by 2025, the deal is to have 50 mile-per-gallon [vehicles]?”
“Fifty-four, yeah,” LaHood said.
“Well,” Gonzalez asked, “if we’re expected to exhaust all the world’s oil reserves within the next 25, 30-ish years, then why is gasoline being discussed in these negotiations at all?”
LaHood responded, “There’s an unlimited supply of oil in many countries around the world.”
Gonzalez questioned that, saying, “Unlimited?”
“Absolutely. Absolutely,” LaHood replied. “Now, some of these countries aren’t our friends, others are.”
As the audience chuckled, Gonzalez said, “So you’re saying the supply of gasoline will never end? That it’s unlimited?”
LaHood pointed at Gonzalez and said: “Not in your lifetime. Not in my lifetime. How else do you want me to say it? … We’re not going to run out of gas, we’re not going to run out of oil for a long, long, long time. Many countries have an unlimited supply.”
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