Hey! Wait a minute!
Republicans have been telling us that domestic oil production has declined under the Obama administration. And yet, we suddenly see THIS:
The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030, the International Energy Agency said Monday.
That increased oil production, combined with new American policies to improve energy efficiency, means that the United States will become “all but self-sufficient” in meeting its energy needs in about two decades — a “dramatic reversal of the trend” in most developed countries, a new report released by the agency says.
There are several components of the sudden shift in the world’s energy supply, but the prime mover is a resurgence of oil and gas production in the United States, particularly the unlocking of new reserves of oil and gas found in shale rock. The widespread adoption of techniques like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has made those reserves much more accessible, and in the case of natural gas, resulted in a vast glut that has sent prices plunging.
The report predicted that the United States would overtake Russia as the leading producer of natural gas in 2015.
[Michael A. Levi, senior fellow for energy and environment at the Council on Foreign Relations, said] the agency’s projection of United States self-sufficiency assumed that the country would improve gas mileage in cars and energy efficiency in homes and appliances. “It’s supply and demand together that adds up to this striking conclusion,” Mr. Levi said.
Liberal blogger Steve Benen adds THIS:
In the national elections that just wrapped up, it was fairly common to hear Republicans suggest President Obama and other Democrats are scaling back domestic oil production, and refuse to make use of domestic resources. The complaints seem a little silly in light of the International Energy Agency’s findings — not only is oil production up over the last four years, but the United States will soon pass the Saudis as the top oil producer on the planet.
What’s more, note that the IEA’s Birol said nearly half of the nation’s projected self-sufficiency is the result of “improving energy efficiency in the United States, primarily from the Obama administration’s new fuel economy standards for cars,” efficiency standards opposed by Republicans.
Indeed, the IEA’s report specifically emphasized the fact that “energy efficiency is just as important as unconstrained energy supply.”
That said, the IEA emphasized that more energy efficiency is needed, here and around the world, and the growing global energy market “could make it even harder to prevent dangerous levels of warming.”