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Letter to the New York Times on Americans’ Energy Consumption

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In this letter published in the March 20th, 2002, edition of the New York Times [2], I asked why Thomas Friedman believes it to be “obnoxious” that Americans consume 25 percent of the world’s energy:

To the Editor:

Thomas L. Friedman (”Better Late Than . . .,” column, March 17) finds it ”obnoxious” that Americans ”consume 25 percent of the world’s energy, while we’re only 4 percent of the world’s population.”

Americans produce 31.5 percent of the world’s output — including food and pharmaceuticals exported to foreign countries. What’s so obnoxious?

DONALD J. BOUDREAUX
Fairfax, Va., March 17, 2002
The writer is chairman of the department of economics, George Mason University.

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