The Institute for Policy Innovation released a report Friday that may not be good news for every American fixated on alternative energy sources. Fracking technology and horizontal drilling techniques have catapulted the United States to the world's top oil producer.
To break down America’s oil production is to understand this energy breakthrough.
In 2013, America produced an average of about 12.1 million barrels of crude oil, natural gas liquids, and bio-fuels a day in 2013. Many not familiar with those sorts of numbers need comparisons. Saudi Arabia, the first oil-producing image most Americans instantly think of produces 1.6 million barrels of oil per day on average.
The United States, without the Keystone Pipeline, produces over 300,000 barrels a day more than Saudi Arabia and 1.6 million more than Russia.
Those two counties were the leaders for decades.
The U.S. production of crude oil reached a record of 991,000 barrels a day in 2013, according to the International Energy Agency. The more important figure is the U.S. imports quota dropped 16 percent, or in dollar figures, $310 billion to $268 billion.
How did that happen so quickly? It’s the word that will be on every American’s lips that yearns to see America finally cut the costly oil importing that has involved us in many overseas wars and nearly bankrupted this country.
Fracking, or more accurately, shale-gas production in North Dakota, Texas, and the formation that crosses parts of West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York now produces a record 44 percent of total natural gas output.
Unbelievably, as late as the 1970’s, “experts” seriously predicted the United States would run out of natural gas between the early 1990s and 2008 and U.S. oil production did decline at a rapid rate.
Saudi Arabia had learned their lessons well from their American teachers about capitalism. World oil prices skyrocketed, imports increased and America was caught in a stranglehold by unsavory “allies,” dictators and despots.
Oil had compromised the American spirit in ways we are only beginning to understand completely. Gary D. Libecap, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and an economics professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says is best - "Fracking has upended all of this.
But how did this happen?
Fracking increased U.S. exports of natural gas, eliminated imports of liquid natural gas by the United States, saving $100 billion a year, benefited most world economies by tempering oil and gas price increases and lowered U.S. demand for oil from Venezuela, and other shaky regimes.
America began to regain the independence we most cherish as Americans.
For environmentalist groups, fracking has contributed to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the need for coal and natural gas facilities. And for economists is has increased U.S. employment in oil and gas extraction by from 28,000 seven-years-ago to 45,000 in new employment in supporting industries
Technology provides this new resource with daily innovation to make the process cheaper and more earth-friendly.
Now comes the kicker that will become the political battle of the 21st Century.
The Institute for Policy Innovation documents the federal government ownership of 28 percent of U.S. land. That includes 62 percent of Alaska and 47 percent of 11 Western states.
Fracking companies are not allowed to drill there presently. The Obama administration has delayed and/or denied drilling permits on these federal lands. In fact, the oil industry has dropped 23 percent on federal land since 2007.
Until alternative energy production, with the help of billions of federal dollars already being used, matures to the point of being a viable resource for mass U.S. domestic consumption.
It is imperative the United States seize this moment in our long history to break the foreign chains that interfere with our national freedom.
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