[OP-ED] Is the energy boom a mirage?

A green revolution would protect future generations from climate havoc and wean us from our dependence on the vagaries of oil prices, and we shouldn’t let the fossil-fuel boom divert our attention from that goal

By Steve A. Yetiv, professor of political science at Old Dominion University

The New York Times

The United States is experiencing a boom in oil and natural gas production — one that many people, including Mitt Romney, see as a game-changing, tectonic shift in our energy picture. But while the boom is real, the benefits are less than meet the eye.

The United States produces 1.6 million more barrels of oil each day now than it did in 2008. That’s a significant increase in a world that consumes around 89 million barrels per day, with the United States accounting for about a quarter of that amount. In addition, America’s net petroleum imports have fallen from 60 percent of total consumption in 2005 to 42 percent today. This is partly because of new discoveries and the reclamation of “tight oil” using hydraulic fracturing technology that shoots pressurized liquids into compact, underground rock formations — the same technology driving the natural gas boom.

But what does this oil boom really mean? Will it deliver lower oil prices and enhance energy security, which is what most Americans want and many may expect?

We should not be overly optimistic.


If interested in discussing energy matters, you can contact Court Rich, director of Rose Law Group’s Renewable Energy Implementation Department, crich@roselawgroup.com


Senator says Senate can move ahead on bipartisan energy bill/The Hill 

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September 2012