January 10, 2013

AMERICA THE INDEPENDENT: OIL IMPORTS REACH NEW LOW.

America is about to reach a new energy milestone: According to recent government forecasts, oil imports will will drop to the lowest level in more than 25 years in 2014. The FT reports that imports will fall to six million barrels per day, half of the 12 million barrels per day we imported from 2004–07, putting America well on the road to energy independence.

Our increasing energy independence has a lot to do with the new drilling technologies changing the domestic oil production landscape. Because of new extraction techniques like fracking and horizontal drilling, the International Energy Agency now believes that the U.S. will become the world’s largest oil producer by the end of the decade, perhaps even cutting net imports down to zero. . . .

Still, energy independence won’t free America to disregard the role of the Middle East in the world economy, but it will give us much more flexibility in dealing with the difficult problems this region presents. The tax revenues from greater oil and gas production at home, plus the beneficial results of the hundreds of thousands of new energy jobs that stand to be created will materially help our long term budget picture.

Unless the Greens — perhaps with help from mideast petro-money — manage to shut things down.