A kinetic equation is derived for the two-time phase space correlation function in a dilute classical electron gas in equilibrium. The derivation is based on a density expansion of the correlation function and the resummation of the most divergent terms in each order in the density. It is formally analogous to the ring
summation used in the kinetic theory of neutral fluids. The kinetic equation obtained is consistent to first order in the plasma parameter and is the generalization of the linearized Balescu Guersey-Lenard operator to describe spatially inhomogeneous equilibrium fluctuations. The importance of consistently treating static correlations when deriving a kinetic equation for an electron gas is stressed. A systematic derivation as described here is needed for a further generalization to a kinetic equation that includes mode-coupling effects. This will be presented in a future paper.