Would You Rather Transition To Electric Or Burn Gas From Saudi Arabia?

OCT 29 2018 BY EVANNEX 69


If there was ever a time to reconsider your gasmobile, it’s now. According to Paul Rauber (via Sierra Club), “The grisly apparent murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul by a hit squad linked to Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman has led many to try to distance themselves from the autocratic kingdom. That will not be easy for U.S. drivers of fossil fuel vehicles, however, because Saudi Arabia is still a major supplier of oil to the United States.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: The transition to electric vehicles can reduce our dependence on Saudi oil (Image: Tesla Owner)

After all, “Saudi Arabia remains second only to Canada among the top suppliers of oil to the United States. The amount of Saudi oil entering California is particularly striking [see chart below]… Will qualms about supporting the Saudi regime finally drive people to go electric?”

Above: In 2017, Saudi Arabia accounted for nearly a third of all imported oil to California (Source: Sierra Club via California Energy Commission)

The former CEO and chairman of Sierra Club, Carl Pope, makes precisely this point in Salon’s recent article, It’s all about oil: The lessons we’re missing from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Pope writes, “Embracing the rapid electrification of transportation, and replacing oil still used in the power sector, will slash both dependence on oil and the price paid for the crude we still use.”

Above: Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad bin Salman has been tied to the disturbing, murky events surrounding Jamal Khashoggi (Image: Wikipedia Commons)

He elaborates, “The difference between the ambitious 20 percent share of vehicle miles that ABI expects to be electrified by 2030 and the modest 3 percent that OPEC recently forecast is a demand drop of 7.5 million barrels a day, equivalent to three-quarters of Saudi Arabia’s entire production. Add residual and inefficient use of oil to generate power and you could replace the [Saudi] kingdom’s entire production.”

Above: Paul Sankey of Mizuho Securities discusses how the “Tesla effect” could reduce the globe’s reliance on the oil sector (Youtube: CNBC)

Considering the choice between supporting Saudi oil and moving in a new direction, Pope writes, “it’s clear that the costs of a rapid transition to electric transportation and renewable power is a much cheaper – and safer – deal.” He concludes, “The world can do without Saudi oil – but only once it gets serious about electrifying transportation.”


Source: Sierra ClubSalon

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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69 Comments on "Would You Rather Transition To Electric Or Burn Gas From Saudi Arabia?"

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It’s no surprise that an article that raises the ‘don’t supports those Arabs’ scaremongering links to the Sierra club – an organization that opposed immigration till just a couple of years ago because ‘those poor scrawny people will drive cars if they come here’. https://grist.org/article/nijhuis-sierra/

I thought we had put to rest the creepy, nativist side of the green movement. Clearly, it lives on in Evannex articles.

Your FUD doesn’t refute any arguments from this article… gtfo

Thanks 4win

The choice should not be between “Saudi oil” vs electric. It should be about “oil” vs electric. You keep your creepy racism. I’ll keep my environmentalism.

You’re the only one taking about ‘race’ this is about an evil dictatorial monarchy that kills journalists.

Sorry but terrorist are terrorist

Robert Bowers is from Pennsylvania. Should we not use PA coal or gas from Marcellus Shale because he is a terrorist?

I didn’t realize that Robert Bowers is the Sovereign King of the State of Pennsylvania.

And is the Sovereign King of Saudi Arabia backing terrorists?

I have several friends, acquaintances, colleagues who are Muslims from middle east. Every single one hate Saudi Arabian regime. So don’t make this about ‘don’t supports those Arabs’ BS.

The Saudi’s funded the 911 terrorists.
And the US response to that was zero.

Individuals in Saudi Arabia funded the 911 terrorists, and were mostly Saudi nationals. It was not the Saudi regime, and thus the reason why Saudi Arabia as a country was not punished.

Timothy McVeigh is from New York state. What has the Federal gov’t done to punish New York state, since they are raising terrorists?

But what if Timothy McVeigh was part the Saudi regime and had journalists cut up into little pieces and beheaded people by the hundreds for non-violent drug offenses?

Was his murdering 168 people not enough for you?

What if aliens landed on your home?
And then cut you up into peices?
Should we cry or cheer?

Or is such a hypothetical, similar to yours, just plain stupid.

This isn’t about where we get oil it’s about using oil or any fossil fuel. We’ve been talking about getting off fossil fuels for quite awhile. Were slowly transitioning to renewable energy hopefully we continue at a faster pace.

Bingo. I personally don’t care whether my oil is from North Dakota or Saudi Arabia. Greens especially need to figure out how to let go of their internal racism and focus on the more universal goal of an energy transformation towards renewable sources.

That “internal racism” might be more due to the fact that too much oil money is funding despot AROUND THE WORLD. Or you gonna make the claim that a desire to starve Putin is racism too. gtfo with that bs.

“how to let go of their internal racism”

You must be seeing racist in every person, kind of like left wing demonstrators calling everyone they don’t agree as racist, sexist, homophobe, Nazi. If you see racist in everyone, maybe it’s just you and not the world.

Uh, maybe read the article again. It is about oil, and where the oil is from.

Didn’t Tesla fanboi wanted MBS to take Tesla private. Never trusted them never will

I’m sure most were scared to death that the oilers would buy them just to slow them down.

Easy-peasy. Instead of driving cars running on Saudi-oil, let’s switch to Saudi-funded EVs that run on electricity from power plants powered by Saudi-oil until we can transition to solar power generated from panels made by companies funded by the Saudi’s. It’s a clean break if you ask me.

Where are they burning oil for electricity?

A few states are doing it….. HI comes to mind.

Puerto Rico.

Basically, ~1% of America’s electricity comes from oil.
All of that should be replaced by AE combined with Nuke energy (except maybe in Hawaii).

Easy-peasy. Instead of driving cars running on Saudi-oil, let’s switch to America-funded EV’s that run on electricity from solar power using solar panels made by companies funded by the American’s, until we can transition to fusion power generated from Hydrogen-Dueterium using reactors made by companies funded by the Americans. It’s a clean break if you ask me.
Oh, the solar panels don’t need to be American though, there are also German companies and South Korean ones that make good solar panels as well.

Coal is dying or is as good as dead. Policy didn’t kill coal, capitalism did. It trades at 6 cents/kW while fracked gas is trading at 4 cents. This 30% drop is what destroyed coal. Now renewables are starting to trade at 4 cents/kW as well and on their way to 2 cents. These numbers will be without subsidies. Subsidies from government credits for renewables AND subsidies from known health care cost that have never been paid from the burning of fossil fuels. It is so very fitting that capitalism will be the death of this industry. It is also important not to look at oil as Saudi oil or US oil but rather Exxon oil and Shell oil. The US used to spend $50 billion a year just policing the Suez canal. The US budget for renewables used to be around $35 billion. Interestingly enough half of that budget was in support of ethanol. If they want to budget cut how about giving the $17 billion for ethanol to another budget like oil. We no longer use lead in gasoline to achieve the needed octane because we discovered that it was killing us. As for the focus on Saudi… Read more »

Remember the coal industry, for years, got away with policy where coal ash pits were located right next to rivers. Meaning: They saved significant disposal cost at ever river flood. While polluting every lake and stream in America with FREE to Them Mercury.
That’s why you can’t eat the fish in America.

Coal cannot be used to power 7 Billion people, because that’s another word for Suicide.

Time to make birth control pills, vasectomies, and tubes tied available free around the world the planet can’t handle another billion or more people.

Allah doesn’t like birth control

But your god does?

Translation: ‘Let’s cripple our greatest future wealth and resource to save the future’. To borrow a quote from the ‘Walking Dead'( possibly borrowing from Adam Smith): ‘People are a resource’. Birth control means an aging population, supported by a reduced workforce, which is less socialized, more socially isolated and carries a greater burden to support society as a whole, with less time and capital to figure out the answer to things like, oh, sustainable living, for instance. Ask China, whos’ seen governing opinion and policy on both sides of the issue. We already KNOW the formula that’s historically worked – look at the pre-columbian cultures of the Amazon river basin, or heck, a whole heck of a lot of ‘new world’ agriculture – especially the cultures that WEREN’T as big on the whole ‘monument building empire’ thing. Look at permaculture and off-grid living today. Modest sized, connected communities spread out _among_ nature, with a view to managing nature wisely – combined with modern and future advances in agriculture, farming and meat alternatives – would likely lead to more autonomy and easier problems to solve than a population controlled populace hamster-caged in giant urban center firmly demarcated from the natural world,… Read more »

Actually hurricane Florence flooded a coal tar pit in North Carolina no one from EPA will say now much coal tar, mercury etc flowed down stream. Tar pit was near enough to river to be flooded.

If Exxon and Shell are not spending 51% of CAPEX on wind, and solar, specifically offshore wind projects, that would fall clearly into their area of expertise, it’s time to DIVEST from both companies.

I recommend SPYX and ETHO.
ETHO also gets out of gambling stocks, another loser segment of the economy.

Well if you listened to the GOP you would hear that Obama was picking winners and losers and was trying to kill coal. I’m glad that he succeeded although the current Administration is trying to pick winners and losers and fossil fuels is the horse there putting there money on.

No doubt that Obama’s DOE did an effective job at accelerating our move away from fossil fuels.

It won’t be Trump or Obama. It will be the economics of coal vs natural gas vs renewables that will kill coal. They are continuing to close US coal power plants at roughly the same rate under Trump as under Obama despite the current administration pushing coal.

The Saudis already own a billion if not two of Tesla stock. Should be of no surprise to anyone because when it comes to a moral compass Silicon Valley has never had one and never will anytime soon.

It’s always about the money, anything else just gets lip service.

Of course it’s always about money. Money is the value of desirable human labor. Everything’s worthless until human labor is put into it that is desired by others.

TSLA is a publicly-traded stock corporation. A publicly-traded stock corporation has no control over who buys their stock on the open stock market, regardless of the direction the corporate leadership’s “moral compass” points. Perhaps you were thinking about how Elon courted the Saudis to provide the funding to take TSLA private?

Actually was just trying to make point that Saudi money runs really deep in Silicon Valley. Otherwise, thought this article was hilarious EVANNEX thinking Saudi oil is still relevant these days, when Saudi financing has much much deeper influence on tech companies worldwide.

The Saudis are a strategic TSLA investor, not merely someone who bought stock.

If the US could come up with an electric solution to diesel burned in homes in oil boilers to heat hot water base board radiant heat, that would make a huge difference. Along with a system to replace natural gas.

But, there isn’t any heat exchanger technology that can get water to 180 degrees needed for baseboard heat.

Well, there is a technology that can easily heat water to 180 or even 210 degrees, which should work for baseboard heat. It is very simple really, it’s just a wire. Yep, that’s all it is, a wire that you run electricity through and it creates heat. Many older electric dryers use these wires.

Where was the author when Raif Badawi was sentenced to 1000 lashes in 2013, of which he only received a fraction because he hardly survived the 1st 50 in 2015?

Isn’t California nearer to Canada than to Saudi Arabia? Why should it import so much from SA?

Where California gets its crude oil and why is not a simple thing. It depends on a lot of factors and politics is just one. There are no crude oil pipelines set up to bring CN oil to California. The closest CN-US pipeline terminal is at Anacortes, WA, which transfers oil to tankers. Keystone and other international oil pipelines mostly take it to the midwestern and TX/OK refineries. Also a lot depends on what type of crude the CA refineries are configured for. I think they are set up for conventional heavy oil and because of California’s special gas/diesel formulas, don’t have a lot of room for adjusting their process. CN tar-sands oil is an ultra-heavy bitumen type stuff diluted with propane or naptha to make it flow. It is called “dilbit” and takes some significant refinery adjustments to be cracked and made into vehicle fuels. It used to be that most of CA’s “imported” oil came from Alaska, but Alaska’s production has plummeted, so now it is up to the OPEC countries to fill the gap. To really be informed about CA’s oil situation, here is a link to a pdf of the full California Energy Commission slide show… Read more »

“California” does not import oil from anywhere, it is the companies that supply California and I have no doubt if they could find a more profitable way, they would do it. Anyway, Canadian oil is probably possibly the dirtiest oil in the world.

My solar panels even without any tax incentive would recover their cost in 10 years (cash purchase), and would last 30 or more years. With federal incentive, the cost recovery time is down to 6 1/2 years. It’s not really difficult to make a decision with these numbers if one can afford the initial investment.

This is the question that did it for me after 9/11. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Did they ever offer to rebuild the twin towers ? Negative. What would happen if 15 Americans blew up Mecca? Wake up America; they’re not our “friends”. But hey who cares about Kashoggi? Read his Arabic diatribes against the West and you’ll find out what he was all about. They (Saudis) have been dealing with people like him (one of their citizens) in ways such as they did for thousands of years. It’s none of our business. He was one of them. Take note.

In fairness, shall we discuss where Cobalt, LIthium, Neodymium etc. come from, and what the human rights landscape is like in those nations? Hint: China, Congo, Chile, Argentina, Russia…

What, you want tariffs slapped on them to MAGA? Cobalt, Lithium, etc. are not getting into your lungs while cell killing CO, NOx, O3 are when you burn oil. And if you want to talk about human rights landscape, just look at how many people we (US) throw in prisons, many (majority?) for victimless crimes.

Canada, United States, and Australia should also be included in that list. Canada has large supplies of Cobalt(in fact there is a town, named Cobalt, because they found a large reserve there). United States has large reserves of Lithium(largely in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and other western states). Australia has large reserves of both…
And there is a large amount of mining that goes on in those countries. I wonder what the human right’s landscape is in those nations?

in another 2 years, I am concerned that ppl will ask that last question about America and not like the answer.

I’m working on two story ideas that what Trump should do with his 12 billion dollar farm aid bill would be to take two billion dollars from it and use it to add 2500 E85 gas station pumps to gas stations in the United States it raise the market for E85 Ethanol which would benefit farmers. Another requirement would be to require all gasoline cars and truck models to be all flex fuel starting in 2020. The reason why I thought of this is I currently drive a flex fuel and ethanol is $0.50 to $0.70 cheaper then dino juice in my home town. Another story I’m working on is a good way to threaten Saudi Arabia would be to use defense funding or a 20 dollar a barrel tariff on Saudi Arabia oil and use 3/4 the funds to pay for road funding. The 25% of the funding would go to build 50,000 DC quick charging stations for EV’s which would be built as a grant program to cover 3/4 of the costs of building the stations. The rules however are that the stations must be kept in working order for ten years and must allow all types of… Read more »

> 20 dollar a barrel tariff on Saudi Arabia oil

Saudi Arabia is the largest supplier, so such a tariff, will automatically cause the world price of oil to go up, which will have negative impact on the World economy, and of course a negative effect on America.

The world price is $70, which is already getting expensive, so you’re suggesting a 30% tariff.

It too drastic. Put a tax of a couple cents on fuel sold in the US, and that would raise a few billion each year. Use those funds to subsidize EV’s, with a discount at the point of sale, and subsidize the build out of a EV charging network. Subsidies are better, as it keeps the decisions, and ownership in private hands.

Another good ideal is to put a special tax on vehicles based on mpg that they get, the lower the mpg, the higher the tax, and use those funds also. That should raise a few more billion each year.

You can’t tariff Saudi oil, they’ll just ship their oil elsewhere and someone else will ship here. Refineries will have to be re-configured and oil tankers will burn more dirty bunker fuel on longer routes. You cause economic and environmental damage for zero benefit.

We need to get off oil as soon as possible.

I’ve long said that we should take an “all of the above” approach to doing so, even if that includes H2/FCVs.

I love Republicans, they talk mad sh!!t about electric, wave their flag furiously, carp about terrorism, and then send their money to the Middle East. Regardless of the dirtiness of electricity production (always a great, red herring), it’s DOMESTICALLY produced.

That’s because only thing about EV they hear is that global warming will be slowed by few months if everyone switched to EV, both from the left and the right.

Right wingers (ie, Fauxnews) rarely talk about many benefits of EV (performance, lower cost, etc) and equate EV with hugely expensive global warming “solutions” that merely delay the inevitable by few months. Left wingers are so wrapped up in global warming that, like right wingers, equate EV with global warming.

That’s why I always make global warming as minor point about EV and highlight the attributes that directly benefit the driver/owner.

I agree with you. I, too, have no empirical evidence to the degree of Global Warming/Climate Change, and also avoid the topic if at all possible. What’s disturbing is how the extreme on both sides have it all figured out. And it’s all based purely on emotion.

Generalize much?

It was a REPUBLICAN president from Texas, wealthy from oil, who chose to start funding the US government research on electric powered transportation. Look into the research at the National Labs. But you won’t because ignorance is bliss.

The current REPUBLICAN president is said to own two cars, one of which is a Tesla.

Who ya gonna hate now?

I form my opinion(s) based on my experience. I never said ‘ALL’ Republicans. But you’re lying to yourself and everyone here if you say that the majority of Republicans support EV’s and alternative energy. I think we can skip that debate at this point, don’t you?

And I never said I hate Republicans. But I do hate their stance on EV’s.

And do you remember “Drill, Baby, Drill?” (Wikipedia does: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drill,_baby,_drill)

We could have had EVs in the 70s during the OPEC oil shock.

Saudi Arabia does not supply a material portion of US petroleum. In fact, total net imports are no longer all that material.

Total US petroleum gross imports were 10.14 million bpd in 2017. But exports were 6.86m bpd, so net imports were only 3.28m bpd, or about 16% of our 20m bpd consumption. Imports from Saudi Arabia were 0.96m bpd, a bit under 5% of consumption.

To put it another way, we export 7x as much petroleum as we import from Saudi Arabia.


Very relevant article, murdering a journalist and chopping his body to pieces is such a heinous crime. Everyone knows that their crown prince is the suspect, still the USA is powerless because of the Saudi oil power. And don’t forget the 2001-09-11 which is also masterminded by a Saudi and executed by 15 of their hijackers.

If more and more people buy some sort of alternative fuel vehicle; whether its electric, plugin, hybrid, flex fuel, bi fuel, it could help reduce the independence on their oil. Rest of those who have gasmobiles can still buy E15 Ethanol as 95% of the vehicles in American roads can run on that fuel. This will chip away the oil demand a little bit besides giving jobs to American farmers and workers.

EVs are the answer that cuts across the political divide. Environmental quality for those on the left and national security for those on the right. Just plain fun to drive and don’t have to constantly pay four digit repair bills. The future is electric, the future is now.