From John Shannon who writes about green energy, sustainable development and economics. Email him at john[AT]borderstan.com
Earlier this year, President Barack Obama sent me a letter outlining the Administration‘s energy goals. In it, he laid out his ambitious plans to decrease dependence on foreign oil imports, increase oil and gas exploration and extraction, lower the fuel prices paid by consumers and set historic fuel-efficiency standards for U.S. cars and trucks. Below is a short excerpt of the letter which you can read in full at johnbrianshannon.com
March 21, 2012
Thank you for writing. I appreciate hearing from you, and I share the vision of millions of Americans who want to take control of our Nation’s energy future. My Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy is about developing every source of American energy–a strategy aimed at saving families and businesses money at the pump by reducing our reliance on foreign oil, expanding oil and gas production, and positioning the United States as the global leader in clean energy.
The hard truth is there are no overnight solutions to our energy challenges. The only way to deal with this problem is through a sustained, serious, all-of-the-above approach. Under my Administration, American oil production is at its highest level in 8 years, and we are now less reliant on foreign oil than in any of the past 16 years. We have more working oil and gas rigs than the rest of the world combined, and we have opened up millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration where appropriate and where it can be done safely. My Administration has also approved dozens of new pipelines to move oil around, including from Canada, which will help create jobs and encourage more energy production. Thanks to our Nation’s booming oil production, more efficient vehicles, and a world-class refining sector that last year was a net exporter for the first time in 60 years, we cut net imports by 10 percent–or a million barrels a day–in the last year alone.
Only eight months later, on November 12th, the International Energy Agency reported that the United States had suddenly moved from a country historically dependent on foreign oil, to a net exporter. But that is just the beginning. According to the IEA the United States will become the world’s largest oil producer by 2017 — surpassing even Saudi Arabia. Reuters said the IEA annual long-term report surprised top IEA analysts:
“Energy developments in the United States are profound and their effect will be felt well beyond North America – and the energy sector”
“The recent rebound in US oil and gas production, driven by upstream technologies that are unlocking light tight oil and shale gas resources, is spurring economic activity – with less expensive gas and electricity prices giving industry a competitive edge.”
“The United States, which currently imports around 20 percent of its total energy needs, becomes all but self-sufficient in net terms – a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other energy importing countries.”
“The Chief Economist for the IEA said the US would far surpass Russia as the world’s largest gas producer by 2015 and become the world’s largest oil producer by 2017.”
Former President George W. Bush was completely right when he declared, “America, is addicted to oil.” Sadly, that has not changed. But instead of staying with the status-quo (perilously dependent on foreign oil) the Obama Administration decided early-on to keep billions of dollars of oil & gas investment, jobs, profits and other related economic activity here for the benefit of North Americans. And that, my friends — is historic change for the better.