“Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”
President Jimmy Carter, January 23, 1980
This map does an excellent job of showing where the oil is in the world versus who uses it. As you can see, the USA is in a category by itself when it comes to petroleum consumption.
This map also does a really nice job of showing why everyone gets a queasy feeling when there’s talk of Saudi Arabia’s oil production possibly peaking.
HT: Andrew Sullivan