There’s been a meme floating about that suggests that those who may want to avoid Chic-fil-a due to the owners’ anti-homosexuality views should also avoid buying gas because of Saudi Arabia’s favoring the death penalty for homosexual behavior.
That meme is taking advantage of accessibility biases in how we think, because we tend to think of the Persian Gulf states as being the source of oil for the USA. But, the truth is not nearly so simple. Indeed, the truth is, we are driving on gasoline that is overwhelmingly marriage equality friendly.
The quick and dirty talking point is that we import only a little more than 1/4 of our petroleum consumption, Saudi Arabia is our 2nd largest source, and Canada (where marriage equality was established in 2005) is our largest source. About 93% of our consumed petroleum comes from countries in which homosexuality is legal, 87% from countries that have marriage equality.
As of 2014 only 27% of US petroleum consumption was from imports. That’s right, we produce most of the petroleum we use in the US. Many people are remembering the pre-Obama years when we imported about 60% of our petroleum consumption.
Also, by the time products reach your gas tank, or other petroleum product, the sources have been mixed so much that it is probably best to to just treat it as a homogeneous mix and make judgements on that basis. You might be able to buy your gasoline from CITGO, a corporation owned by Venezuela’s nationalized oil company (and where homosexual behavior is legal), but you can’t actually know that any of the gas at any given CITGO station actually came from Venezuela, because of the way gasoline is actually distributed and how refineries take in crude oil from many sources.
For that 27% we import, what are the top 10 importing countries (with homosexual behavior legality orientation) for the 2014 calendar year?
- Canada (Marriage Equality)
- Saudi Arabia (Death)
- Mexico (Marriage Equality, though complicated)
- Venezuela (Legal)
- Iraq (Death)
- Russia (Legal, but the oppression is really bad)
- Colombia (Legal)
- Kuwait (Illegal)
- Ecuador (Legal)
- Brazil (Marriage Equality)
Hard to gain a clear understanding from the above list even though the above accounts for about 85% of US petroleum imports. To make it more clear, here is the breakdown by homosexual orientation of the importing nation.
Orientation % of Imports % of Consumption
Death 17.7% 4.8%
Illegal 8.6% 2.3%
Legal 22.2% 6.0%
Marriage 51.5% 13.9%*
But, wait! That % of Consumption column for Marriage doesn’t show the fact that the USA is the source for 73% of our consumption now. That means about 87% of the petroleum in your tank comes from marriage equality countries, 93% from countries in which it is legal to engage in homosexual behavior. Only 7% from nations in which it is illegal to engage in homosexual behavior. And, it has to be said, many of those nations in which it is illegal, even where a death penalty applies, do not enforce it.
Why did I do all this work (about an hour and a half while monitoring and responding to students taking exams)? Because, I HATE hate speech. I was motivated, have the skills, and was able to find the proper sources. Therefore, it is so ordered.
Sources: For homosexual rights this Washington Post article and various Wikipedia pages that indicate LBGT rights by nation and region. For petroleum import amounts the United State Energy Information Administration, various pages including this one where the Excel spreadsheet provides month by month, nation by nation, going back decades.