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Oil-Rich America? (Yes, If Democrats will allow it)
National Review ^ | 12/08/2011 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 12/08/2011 7:02:06 AM PST by SeekAndFind

There is a revolution going on in America. But it is not part of the Tea Party or the loud Occupy Wall Street protests.

Instead, massive new reserves of gas, oil, and coal are being discovered almost everywhere in the United States, due to revolutionary methods of exploration and exploitation such as fracking and horizontal drilling. Current prices of over $100 a barrel make even complex efforts at recovery enormously profitable.

There were always known to be additional untapped reserves of oil and gas in the petroleum-rich Gulf of Mexico, off America’s shores, and in the American West and Alaska. But even the top energy experts never imagined just how vast the energy there was — or that it was also beneath far more unlikely places such as South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York. Some studies suggest the United States has now expanded its known potential gas and oil reserves tenfold.

The strategic and economic repercussions of these new finds are staggering, and remind us how a once energy-independent and thereby confident American economy soared to world dominance in the early 20th century.

America will soon again be able to supply all of its own domestic natural-gas needs — perhaps for the next 90 years at present rates of consumption. We have recently become a net exporter of refined gas and diesel fuel, and already have cut imported oil from OPEC countries by 1 million barrels per day.

With expanded exploration and conservation, the United States could also eventually supply half of its own petroleum needs. If we were to eliminate 5 million barrels of our current daily 9 million barrels of imported petroleum, the annual savings could reach nearly $200 billion per year. Eventually, the new gas and oil could add 1.6 million new jobs and up to nearly $1 trillion in federal revenue.

That windfall would cut out about a third of our present annual trade deficit — apart from additional income earned by new natural-gas exportation. “Investments,” “shovel-ready jobs,” and “stimulus” would finally become more than empty sloganeering.

But America’s new oil discoveries are not occurring in a vacuum. The entire Western Hemisphere is enjoying a fossil-fuel boom, from northern Canada to Brazil and Argentina. America’s backyard will soon be comparable to the oil-rich Persian Gulf, keeping more American money — and troops — at home. Illegal immigration should taper off as well, as oil-rich Latin American economies reap huge cash bonanzas. Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela will soon be simply one of many regional exporters.

Current crises in American foreign policy — Iran’s efforts to obtain the bomb, the protection of an embattled Israel, stopping the funding of radical Islamists — might be freed from the worries of perennial OPEC threats of cutoffs and price spikes.

Federal subsidies for inefficient corn-based-ethanol production in the Midwest also could cease. That would save the Treasury billions of dollars and allow millions of American acres to return to food production to supply an increasingly hungry world.

The Obama administration’s efforts to subsidize “green” energy so far have proved both uneconomical and occasionally corrupt — as we have seen in the Solyndra affair. Yet more gas and oil can offer America critical breathing space until better technology makes wind, solar, and electric power more price-competitive — without massive federal subsidies and a marked reduction in our standard of living.

Of course, there are sizable interests opposed to the new American gas and oil finds — not all of them foreign governments, but instead reflected in the current Obama-administration policy of halting new pipelines, placing moratoriums on offshore drilling, and putting lucrative federal lands off-limits. Yet if the United States does not produce much of the fuel that it uses, will the oil-exporting Gulf sheikdoms, Nigeria, or Iran better protect the world’s environment than American-based oil companies? Would our oil dollars or theirs be less likely to fuel terrorism, illegal arms sales, and rogue regimes?

For the American poor and unemployed, how liberal is it, really, to keep energy prices high while stalling millions of high-paying private-sector jobs that would both lower government costs in entitlements and empower the working classes?

In the current presidential campaign, three issues dominate: national security, fiscal solvency, and high unemployment. Development of America’s vast new gas and oil finds would address all three at once.

The idea of vastly expanding American gas and oil production in the 21st century is almost as unbelievable as the present administration’s apparent reluctance to capitalize on its windfall.

— Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author, most recently, of The End of Sparta, a novel about ancient freedom.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: domesticdrilling; energy; foreignpolicy; fracking; greenenergy; greenjobs; offshoredrilling; oil; oilandgas; solarpower

1 posted on 12/08/2011 7:02:08 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
There is a revolution going on in America. But it is not part of the Tea Party or the loud Occupy Wall Street protests.

Perhaps, but the TEA Party is far more aligned with it -- deregulation plus job creation certainly fits in with TP objectives.

2 posted on 12/08/2011 7:05:33 AM PST by kevkrom (Separation of Business and State)
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To: SeekAndFind

Frack Here, Frack Now!


3 posted on 12/08/2011 7:08:25 AM PST by neodad (USS Vincennes (CG-49) Freedom's Fortress)
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To: SeekAndFind
"Oil-Rich America? (Yes, If Democrats will allow it)"

"Oil-Rich America?" (Yes, If the United States can overcome the DECADENCE that is destroying it!)

The Left/Democrat Party/Counter-Culture Movement/Occupy
=
DECADENCE
=
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE U.S.A.

4 posted on 12/08/2011 7:10:05 AM PST by Savage Beast (The Left/Democrat Party = Decadence)
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To: neodad

RE: Frack here, Frack now!

What ever happened to the slogan — DRILL BABY, DRILL?


5 posted on 12/08/2011 7:10:39 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Fossil fuels of any variety are on the “Greens” abolishment list. Using global warming as an excuse, they saw “renewable” energy as the way to take America down from our admirable and envied standard of living to that of most of the rest of the world. Now that man-caused global warming is being exposed for the fraud it is and fossil fuel energy discoveries are reducing our dependence on foreign oil, they are throwing up every roadblock possible to prevent their plans from being overturned. Permit delays on drilling offshore and the arctic, threatened endangered species listing of a small lizard in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, and blocking of the Keystone pipeline are just some of the tactics being used by enviro-nazis in cooperation with the Obama administration.

However technology and American ingenuity are once again overcoming obstacles, though government greens continue their attempt to throw up roadblocks as in the use of hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas trapped in shale formations. The public believes and enjoys its current lifestyle and the “chicken little” cries from the enviros are falling on increasingly deaf ears. Hopefully the next election will solidify poll numbers that show global warming to be down at the bottom of problems the country faces, well behind jobs, the economy and increasing national debt.


6 posted on 12/08/2011 7:31:11 AM PST by CedarDave
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To: SeekAndFind

if the dems don’t want to do what is good for the country, it is our duty to toss them out.


7 posted on 12/08/2011 7:32:04 AM PST by television is just wrong
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To: SeekAndFind

Deepwater Horizon


8 posted on 12/08/2011 7:32:48 AM PST by antidisestablishment (Our people perish through lack of wisdom, but they are content in their ignorance.)
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To: television is just wrong

RE: if the dems don’t want to do what is good for the country, it is our duty to toss them out.

You gotta understand, to them, what’s better for the country is not jobs, but “Protecting the environment”


9 posted on 12/08/2011 7:37:16 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: thackney

FYI ping.


10 posted on 12/08/2011 7:47:50 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: SeekAndFind

Our future as a country depends on the outcome of this next election year. We must end up with an administration that will put jobs and energy self reliance up as a vital and immediate issue. Sarah Palin is the only possible candidate who has made the right calls all along. We need ANWR opened to revitalize the AK pipeline. We need the X Pipeline. We need to resume offshore drilling. We need to frack like hell..and look at all applications for Natural gas. We need to start exporting oil as well.


11 posted on 12/08/2011 7:51:43 AM PST by Oldexpat
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To: antidisestablishment

Deepwater Horizon showed even a massive screw-up followed by delays in the clean-up, still result in far less damage than the environmentalists, NIMBYS and other democrats would have us believe.

Gulf of Mexico’s Health Nearly Back to Pre-Spill Level
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/gulf-mexico-s-health-nearly-back-pre-spill-level
April 18, 2011

More than three dozen scientists grade the Gulf’s big picture health a 68 on average, using a 1-to-100 scale. What’s remarkable is that that’s just a few points below the 71 the same researchers gave last summer when asked what grade they would give the ecosystem before the spill. And it’s an improvement from the 65 given back in October.


12 posted on 12/08/2011 7:52:56 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: SeekAndFind
If Democrats will allow it"

That is precisely why Democrats must be ruthlessly purged from all levels of government!

13 posted on 12/08/2011 8:42:04 AM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: thackney

Only perception matters. Drill, baby , drill was killed by the incident—regardless of the truth.


14 posted on 12/08/2011 10:00:37 AM PST by antidisestablishment (Our people perish through lack of wisdom, but they are content in their ignorance.)
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To: thackney

Only perception matters. Drill, baby , drill was killed by the incident—regardless of the truth.


15 posted on 12/08/2011 10:00:53 AM PST by antidisestablishment (Our people perish through lack of wisdom, but they are content in their ignorance.)
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To: antidisestablishment
Only perception matters.

Which is why, we should not roll over and stop pointing out the truth. It takes time to bring peoples perceptions back to reality and away from their preconceived imagination.

16 posted on 12/08/2011 10:03:37 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: antidisestablishment
Oil men are calling the next Oil Boom in Wyoming the NeoBakken. Deep drilling in Converse County is expected to produce another huge oil reserve.
17 posted on 12/08/2011 10:05:59 AM PST by BooBoo1000 ("Think for yourself")
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To: antidisestablishment
Drill, baby , drill was killed by the incident—regardless of the truth.

Tell that to anyone who has pumped their own gas in the last week.

We have more rigs drilling than ever before in North Dakota, and we're only part of the domestic energy picture.

Wherever the Federal Government holds the leases, they can control, but on private concerns they can do little to stop the continued exploration, exploration which accounts for the <2% unemployment in areas like Western North Dakota, and which accounts for tremendous economic activity wherever it is conducted.

Drilling in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico may be tremendously slowed, but we're doing our best to take up the slack elsewhere.

18 posted on 12/08/2011 10:22:38 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: neodad
Frack Here, Frack Now!

SAVE THE WELLS!

19 posted on 12/10/2011 8:28:54 AM PST by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: Smokin' Joe

I am not suggesting anything except that the Administration leveraged the DWH incident to unconstitutionally attack domestic oil production.

I thank God for people developing all our resources—especially when it is private development. I pray for the day when we are completely energy independent. The only reason it hasn’t happened is politics.


20 posted on 12/12/2011 4:30:33 AM PST by antidisestablishment (Our people perish through lack of wisdom, but they are content in their ignorance.)
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To: antidisestablishment
I am not suggesting anything except that the Administration leveraged the DWH incident to unconstitutionally attack domestic oil production.

Agreed, and they continue to press the attack on every front. They have searched far and wide for a place with both wells and bad water, and have decided to blame the bad water on fracking. If their approach is anything like that used in the AGW nonsense, they will use this one situation, and without background data or good science, extrapolate it to shut down the current unconventional oil and gas plays being drilled on land by shutting down hydraulic fracturing after the practice has been in use for over 60 years with no known groundwater contamination attributable to anything but surface spills. That would bring 90% or more of the current drilling activity to a halt, and that would mean a serious shortage of domestic production in the future.

Not to mention the sudden and severe negative impact on communities from North Dakota to Texas, from the Rockies to the Eastern Continental Divide.

I thank God for the resources we develop, and I agree, the single greatest reason more hasn't been developed is political.

21 posted on 12/12/2011 7:37:44 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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