Here’s a bit of news that I expect you didn’t know. The US domestic production of oil has been increasing over the last several years despite reports from government and the state media.
The American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus.
The UK and Norway have the North Sea fields. The production in those fields have been severely limited due to eco-wackos in the UK and Europe. Where once oil platforms dotted that shallow sea, there are less now and will be fewer tomorrow. North Sea oil production peaked in 2000. It has declined every year since.
But why does the UK Telegraph think the US will be in the ascendancy?
Telegraph readers already know about the “shale gas revolution” that has turned America into the world’s number one producer of natural gas, ahead of Russia.Less known is that the technology of hydraulic fracturing – breaking rocks with jets of water – will also bring a quantum leap in shale oil supply, mostly from the Bakken fields in North Dakota, Eagle Ford in Texas, and other reserves across the Mid-West.“The US was the single largest contributor to global oil supply growth last year, with a net 395,000 barrels per day (b/d),” said Francisco Blanch from Bank of America, comparing the Dakota fields to a new North Sea.Total US shale output is “set to expand dramatically” as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009.
Surprising, isn’t it. Yet we’ve heard little of this here at home. Why? Federal regulations and environmental NIMBYs. The Rand Corporation did a study last year and, if you read between the lines, the issues that face shale oil production are not technical, but are regulatory with the major opposition being the EPA and environmental groups.
Critical Policy IssuesResolving environmental, socioeconomic, and key governance issues will determine whether there will be an oil shale industry in the western United States and how fast and how large that industry will grow.
- All known technical approaches will have land-use and ecological impacts, with impacts being especially severe for mining and surface retorting versus in-situ retorting using electric heating.
- Oil shale production will result in airborne emissions that could affect regional air quality, leading to a potentially stringent limitation on oil production levels. It may also lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil operations.
- Because all resources lie in the Colorado River drainage basin, water quality is an important issue. At present, not enough is known about how to prevent water contamination from surface and in-situ operations.
- Large-scale oil shale development will have socioeconomic impacts, stimulating significant regional population growth and likely stretching the financial abilities of local communities to provide needed public services.
- The richest, most abundant deposits are concentrated on federal lands, requiring that leasing be conducted using a strategic approach that balances environmental and land-use impacts against the benefits of strategically significant oil production levels.
There are more bullets to this list but I trimmed them to conserve space here.
As usual, the US has the resources to work our way out of the democrat created mess we are in. The main obstacle for our progress is the federal government. If we can remove those road-blocks, the US can and will be the leader in the world, not only in energy production but also in manufacturing and technology. If you review governmental actions over the last fifty years or more, every impediment to progress had come from government—specifically from the agencies created by democrats.
It’s time for those agencies, like the EPA, to go and take with them all the regulations created purposely to limit our growth and productivity.