November 4 2013

The Only Energy Boom is Coming from Oil and Natural Gas

Sabrina Schaeffer

Americans want abundant, reliable, and affordable energy.  They also want a healthy environment and growing economy. But the Obama Administration too often misinforms Americans about the promise of green energy.

Turns out, in recent years there has been a sizeable energy boom; but not a green energy boom. Over at Real Clear Energy today Charles Drevna explains how the recent energy explosion is coming from oil and natural gas:

Economists and energy experts are bullish on both the present and future of oil and natural gas extraction and forecasting great advances for the fuel refiners. Analysts at IHS Insight predict that over the next two decades, the energy industry is expected to make more than $5 trillion in new capital investments and create more than 3.5 million jobs.

Researchers over at the Pew Research Foundation agree:

The U.S. is producing considerably more of its own energy. Last year the U.S. generated … nearly 14% more than in 2005, largely due to increased production of oil and natural gas. And with the ongoing boom in "unconventional" oil and gas production, the nation is on track to produce even more energy this year.

Against this picture of reality – and the embarrassment of the green energy debacle known as Solyndra – it’s surprising that the administration continues to push for green energy initiatives. But they forge on. And the president is clear who will be the energy winners (“green energy”) and who will be the losers (oil companies).

But we all know this is a recipe for economic hardship and higher energy prices for all Americans. As Drevna reminds us:

Here in the U.S., renewable energy efforts are being abandoned because of exorbitant costs and renewable energy’s inability to provide for consumers’ energy needs. The state of Maine has been promoting an offshore wind farm, but just recently the builder, a Norwegian company called Statoil, reneged on its planned $120 million investment in the project. Even with private investment, Maine energy consumers would have been stuck with a $200 million bill to actually use the wind-created energy.

I suspect Drevna – President of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers – would agree that green energy can be a good thing if it’s the market rather than the government that determines a need for it. But too often lawmakers in Washington want taxpayers to pay for expensive, unproven, and risky green projects.

Drevna is right that “the Obama Administration needs to accept reality and work more closely with producers and manufacturers in the fossil fuel industries. Oil and natural gas are here for the long-term, and will fuel America’s comeback whether it’s in the President’s plan or not.”

If they do, they’ll avoid a lot of embarrassment and we’ll all have more affordable energy.

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