America’s growing energy dominance is helping transform our economy and revitalize the forgotten parts of our nation.
Through innovation and free-market principles, America’s oil and natural gas sector have moved us from an age of scarcity to a future of abundance. As a nation, we are once again the world’s biggest producer, with all of the economic, trade and national security benefits that portends.
But there is a move afoot by wealthy investment firms and environmental activists to undermine that success and turn back to a time of scarcity by making climate change an issue in the boardrooms of energy producers big and small. Under the guise of socially responsible investing or ESG – environmental, social and governance – they are attempting to “decarbonize” our economy one corporation at a time.
America’s success in the energy sector is directly attributable to the strength of our economic freedom and competitive markets – just look at Venezuela, Angola, Mexico, Iran, Libya or Russia for the grim alternative.
The numbers are astounding. Domestic oil production reached 10.9 million barrels a day this month and is expected to continue its ascent to record-setting levels well into next year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). By 2019, surging domestic production is expected to drive down our use of imported oil to the lowest level since 1959.
The use of hydraulic fracturing to squeeze ever more oil and gas from tight shale rock is a key driver of the energy boom. Production from America’s seven major shale formations is forecast to hit 7.2 million barrels a day by the end of this month, according to EIA.
It’s the communities in and around these formations – located almost exclusively in what are often derided as “fly-over states”– that are seeing the everyday benefits of jobs, rising wages and increasing confidence in the economy. The resurrection of the energy sector is turning small towns once on the verge of becoming ghost towns into bustling centers of activity.
There’s no guarantee the good times will continue, though, especially if companies stop searching for new supplies of oil and gas. For those who subscribe to the ideas of socially responsible investing, the end of energy dominance can’t come soon enough.