Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Energy Independence May Be Within Reach

In the current issue of COMMENTARY, I express my confidence about America’s future. Further evidence of the advantages we have, notwithstanding all of the gloomy sentiment one hears, comes from this Financial Times article which suggests that the long-sought goal of “energy independence” may finally be within reach. This is mostly the result of shale oil discoveries centered in places like North Dakota but also due to new drilling techniques which have opened up hitherto inaccessible “tight oil” fields in North America.

As a result, the FT reports, “Many analysts expect that in the coming decade the US will leapfrog Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest producer of liquid hydrocarbons, counting both crude oil and lighter natural gas liquids such as propane and ethane.”

The article also contains this:

Edward Morse, a former US energy diplomat now global head of commodities research at Citigroup, the American bank, believes it will be possible for the US to cut imports from about 10m barrels per day to about 3m b/d by the early 2020s. All of its import demand could be met from Canada and Mexico. “The two vulnerabilities of the US as a global superpower have been its dependence on imported oil and its current account deficit,” he says. “Now it may be in the process of resolving both of those.”

This does not mean that the Middle East, Nigeria, Venezuela or other oil-producing areas will cease to matter. They will still be strategically important because they will be producing oil that will be used in Europe, East Asia, and elsewhere. But the U.S. nevertheless figures to be in a very strong position going forward, especially as compared to all of its potential rivals. As Morse says:

“The notion that the US was a superpower in the 20th century but won’t be in the 21st doesn’t hold up so well now,” Mr Morse says. “Compare it to a country such as China, which is going to be overwhelmingly dependent on energy imports. The US is in a much stronger position.”

Exactly. Yet one more reason why the 21st century can be another American century—as long as we don’t lose our confidence.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.