Obama's airhead comment on inflation and oil
Power Line does the calculation.
...He might be able to improve on that if he properly inflated his tires with nitrogen. That is because nitrogen has bigger molecules and it is harder for it to leak out of the tires. I am curious who provided this bit of misinformation to Obama. It must have been his presumptive energy secretary.
Just for fun, I did the math. Properly inflating your tires can improve gas mileage by 3%. Of course, many people already keep their tires properly inflated, and many more are at least close to being properly inflated. Let's be generous and assume that one-half of the total possible savings would be realized if we all inflated our tires properly; that's a net gain of 1.5% fuel efficiency.
Americans drive approximately 2,880 billion miles per year. If we average 24 mpg, we use around 120 billion gallons of gasoline in our vehicles. If, through perfect tire inflation, we improved our collective fuel efficiency by 1.5%, that would be 1.8 billion gallons. A barrel of oil produces around 20 gallons of gasoline, so the total savings available through tire inflation is approximately 90,000,000 barrels of oil annually.
How does this stack up against "all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling?"
ANWR: 10 billion barrels
Outer Continental Shelf: 18 billion barrels (estimated; the actual total is undoubtedly much higher, since exploration has been banned)
Oil shale: 1 trillion barrels
So, on the above assumptions, it would take only 11,308 years of proper tire inflation to equal "all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling."