Segments in this Video

America's Oil Addiction (01:02)


Americans are addicted to oil, but how much do we actually know about oil? Why do the prices for gas go up and up? Is there enough oil in the U.S. to supply America's needs?

Refinery in Oklahoma (00:51)

Much of the oil that supplies American vehicles flows through refinery pipes in Cushing, OK. It is here that the price of a barrel of oil is determined.

What Is Oil? (01:10)

Oil is the product of billions of years of decomposition of accumulated plants, animals, and microbes. Americans consume 400 millions gallons of gas every day.

Gas Stations: Profitability Issues (01:04)

Gas stations seldom make much profit on selling gasoline. Profit comes from retail sales of snack foods and drinks.

Oil Loading Racks (01:08)

Oil companies are not in the business of selling gas to consumers. They own the loading racks where oil tankers fill up in order to deliver gas to individual stations.

All Gas Essentially the Same (01:30)

Gas as a physical commodity is the same no matter which station sells it. Advertising alone differentiates one brand from another. Ads are competition for market share only.

Problem of Oil Refineries (01:02)

Oil refineries are huge, smelly operations that most people do not want to live near. A third of the nation's refineries stretch along a remote part of the Gulf Coast.

Oil Companies Close Refineries (01:32)

No new refineries have been built in the U.S. since 1978. It is difficult to get permits. In addition, oil companies want to control oil capacity in order to control margins, so they closed many refineries.

Oil Refineries: Choke Point (01:02)

Oil companies have gained power over price. While oil company capacity has risen 14%, oil demand had risen by 15%.

Gas Prices (01:14)

Repeated government investigation reveals no evidence of illegal collusion to reduce output or increase prices.

Oil: Supply and Demand (00:50)

Fires, pipeline failures, power outages, and hurricanes are all given as reasons for price hikes on gasoline. The tenuous balance between supply and demand is easily disrupted.

Oil Pipelines In U.S. (00:59)

More than 160,000 miles of oil pipelines crisscross the U.S. The foundation of the U.S. economy is oil and natural gas pipelines.

Oil Ownership (00:52)

Though the oil under Cushing, OK, is gone, the pipes and refineries remain. This is where ownership of oil legally changes hands. The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is where deals to buy and sell crude oil are struck.

Oil Speculators (01:13)

Public outcry over rising gas prices was so great, that Congress held hearings to investigate. Investors used crude oil as an instrument of speculation.

Oil Owned by Wall Street (00:59)

Some corporations and investment funds buy large quantities of oil and store it in leased containers. At the height of the speculation bubble, about 25% of the oil in Cushing was owned by Wall Street investment banks,

Oil Market Manipulation (01:04)

Investors large enough to buy huge quantities of oil for speculation can and do manipulate the oil market. Currently, there are no laws against this behavior.

Oil for Profit (00:34)

From the time oil comes out of the ground to the time it reaches a gas pump, it may change hands 30 times, and each time, someone wants a profit. The end user gets stuck with overpriced oil.

Economic Jihad (00:57)

An Al Qaeda brochure advocates economic jihad against the U.S. by attacking, burning, and destroying the oil pipeline.

Alaskan Pipeline Plot (01:36)

A Canadian anarchist plans to blow up parts of the Alaskan pipeline. His motivation was to disrupt the American economy. America's economy is vulnerable to the price of oil. By 2025, oil usage will increase by 37%.

Oil: The Source (00:57)

America uses more oil than it produces. Imported oil accounts for 70% of the American supply. Five countries have most of the world's remaining oil sources. These countries want to feed America's oil addiction.

Oil and Military Billions (01:09)

America spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year to import oil. At the same time, America is spending billions more on military engagements in the Middle East.

Wesley Clark on Middle East and Oil (00:56)

Gen. Wesley Clark discusses the importance of oil and the decision to invade Iraq. Oil has been at the heart of U. policy in the Middle East.

American Troops in the Middle East (00:60)

Troops in the Middle East are there to protect access to oil-producing countries. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers are protecting America's oil resources. Iran's leaders are hostile to America.

Geopolitical Complications of Oil (01:27)

Iran makes it clear that it will hit Saudi Arabia's main oil facilities with missiles. The true cost of oil is not figured into the cost of gas at the pumps. The true cost includes military lives and billions of dollars.

Dependence on Foreign Oil (00:56)

The Republican mantra, "Drill, baby, drill," came out of frustration over continued dependence on foreign oil.

Domestic Oil (01:04)

Part of the argument for expanding domestic drilling is that new technologies have revealed more domestic oil than ever thought possible.

Deep Water Oil Extraction (01:01)

Does the U.S. have enough domestic oil to get the country off its dependence on foreign oil? Oil companies are going 7000 feet deep for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

Underwater Robots (00:55)

Seven thousand feet below the ocean surface, robots maneuver around the bottom. Oil caps on the ocean floor protect pipes that lead another 25,000 feet to the crude oil.

Technology and Crude Oil Extraction (00:59)

Because of technology, the U.S. is getting oil from areas unreachable a few years ago. The U.S. has fewer proven oil reserves than a decade ago.

Domestic Oil Is Not Enough (00:54)

T. Boone Pickens, a lifelong Republican, disagrees with his Party's position that the U.S. can rely on the oil that it has. Even the most optimistic projects from domestic drilling will not result in oil independence.

T. Boone Pickens and Oil Independence (01:31)

T. Boone Pickens announces his idea to get the U.S. off oil dependence. He has invested most of his fortune on natural gas and renewable resources such as wind and solar energy.

Barack Obama and Energy Independence (01:03)

Barack Obama echoes the pledge of his predecessors to get America free of its addiction to foreign oil. Energy Secretary Steven Chu believes it is possible to be energy independent within a decade.

Motivators for Fuel Alternatives (00:49)

President Obama's plan is to increase oil imports from neighboring Canada and Mexico. He wants to invest billions in biofuels and other alternatives to oil. Climate change is another reason to search for alternatives to fossil fuels.

Cheap Gas at the Pump (00:48)

The amazing truths about oil is that it can come from 32,000 feet under water, it can be pumped through thousands of miles of pipes, it can be hauled all over the country, and yet only costs $2.50 a gallon at the pump.

Innovations for Energy Independence (01:05)

Innovation does not come cheap. Billions of dollars are invested in new sources of energy such as wind, clean coal, and solar. Biofuels, natural gas, and super batteries can power America's cars.

America: Responsible for Its Oil Problems (01:18)

The U.S. automobile industry is in trouble. Because of the cost of gas, consumers do not want the gas-guzzling vehicles put out by American car makers. America is responsible for its own oil problems.

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Over a Barrel: The Truth about Oil

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With roller-coaster gas prices becoming the norm, this ABC News program travels the country to uncover surprising and sometimes disturbing aspects of the oil industry. Charles Gibson reports from Cushing, Oklahoma, where the price of a barrel of oil dictates the price nationally; journeys 160 miles off the coast of Louisiana to one of the deepest-drilling oil rigs in the nation; and visits “refinery row” along the greater Gulf Coast. Viewers learn how Wall Street speculators can cause oil prices to skyrocket, while Energy Secretary Steven Chu discusses the importance of biofuel development and former NATO commander General Wesley Clark discusses the role that oil played in the Iraq war. (39 minutes)

Length: 39 minutes

Item#: BVL41330

ISBN: 978-1-61616-628-1

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.