Hydraulic fracturing is securing America's energy future
Hydraulic Fracturing is securing America's energy future. Now, thanks to advancements in hydraulic fracturing, we're increasing the production of oil and natural gas in the U.S. making energy independence a possibility.
In fact, the surge in oil production has pushed U.S. output to it's highest levels since 1992, a trend expected to continue. Hydraulic fracturing has resulted in a decline in imports, an increase in petroleum exports, and a drop in carbon emissions. Simply put- the "Great American Oil & Gas Boom" is reviving businesses and communities that make this nation great- it's restoring America's place of leadership in the world and setting the U.S. up to become energy independent.
Christopher Helman, Forbes Staff reports 2/13/2013
In his State of the Union address tonight President Obama said:
“After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it.”
Yes indeed, thanks to fracking, crude oil production in the United States is surging. From a low of 5 million barrels per day in 2008 output has shot up in a hyperbolic curve to 7 million bpd as of last week.
The last time America’s petroleum output was that high was back in 1992 — 20 years ago.
What’s more, U.S. imports of petroleum have fallen to the lowest level since 1999. (Below 10 million bpd today versus14 million bpd in 2005.)
Due to a 12% decrease in gasoline consumption during the last four years of recession, we’re using less petroleum too.
The result is that our exports of petroleum products are up nearly 150% in three years to a record $140 billion. As hyperbolic as the increase in oil production has been, so has the decrease in our petroleum trade deficit, falling from $360 billion a year ago to an annual rate of $224 billion today (less than half the $500 billion annual oil deficity of 2008).
This is an awesome accomplishment. And it is all thanks to fracking. Without the techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, this Great American Oil & Gas Boom would simply not exist.
What’s more, as President Obama said tonight, “over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.”
That’s right, whether you think carbon emissions are dangerous or not, the fact is that they have fallen. According to a from the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases fell 4.6% in 2011. Most of this decrease was due directly to the decreasing use of coal in power plants and the increase in combustion of clean-burning natural gas.
And thanks to fracking, there’s plenty more natural gas to displace coal.
Power plants are by far the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, accounting for 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions (67% of the total).
No wonder President Obama said tonight that “my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits.”
That’s music to the ears of the oil and gas industry.
But then why does the president have to go and mess it up? In his speech tonight he said:
“Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea , then so can we. Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long.”
First of all, we don’t need any new federal bureaucracy, and we certainly don’t need any portion of the $10 billion in federal royalties from oil and gas production on federal lands to go into a slush fund from which bureaucrats get to pick pie-in-the-sky technologies to invest in.
As far as I can tell, this idea of an Energy Security Trust comes from this ill-fated house bill from 2009 that sought to tax carbon dioxide emissions and direct the tax into a trust fund that would pay for alternative energy research and (bizarrely) offset payroll taxes for poor families.
An energy trust fund is a terrible idea, and could well be considered a backdoor approach to reopen the debate on the national carbon tax. We don’t need either.
Society already benefits tremendously from cheaper, more plentiful American oil and gas. Thanks to fracking, lower natural gas prices already save consumers $100 billion a year – far more than any crumbs the federal government might want to dole out. What’s more, the energy industry doesn’t need the government’s help when it comes to investing in energy infrastructure or research and development. This year American oil and gas companies will make well over $100 billion in capital investments, with Chevron and ExxonMobil alone accounting for $70 billion. Thanks to fracking, the United States can become not only energy independent of the rest of the world (oil will still be a global commodity with prices set on the world market) but definitely more energy secure. Fracking saves us money; fracking creates jobs; fracking reduces greenhouse gas emissions. God bless fracking.