Thanks to exploiting of new resources like oil shale and technologies like hydraulic fracturing, the United States is now the largest producer of both petroleum and natural gas in the world.
Oil and natural gas production in the U.S. is indeed soaring. According to the latest Energy Information Administration report, U.S. crude oil production stands at 11.9 million barrels per day. That’s just shy of 24 percent more than the 1970 peak of 9.6 million barrels per day. So much for Hubbert’s Peak!
The U.S. is also now the world’s biggest producer of natural gas, at about 853 billion cubic meters in the last 12 months. The next biggest producers in 2017 were Russia and Iran at 694 and 209 billion cubic meters correspondingly.
The United States is now a net energy exporter, to the benefit of our economy. No longer are Americans exporting their dollars to OPEC nations, but are bringing in money from overseas. At a time when we are buying so many imported goods, it’s good to have at least some export market.
But Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wants to change that!
On my first day as president, I will sign an executive order that puts a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases for drilling offshore and on public lands. And I will ban fracking—everywhere.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 6, 2019
I get it: the Democrats are all in on fighting global warming climate change, and they’ve made some campaign promises which amount to pie-in-the-sky.¹
Warren sought to pick up the baton of climate leadership from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee after he ended his climate-focused run for president. She met privately with him and then adopted his aggressive multi-part action proposal. She has challenged all of the presidential candidates to make the same commitment to 100 percent clean energy, buildings and transportation. Warren’s plan calls for all new buildings to be zero-emissions by 2028, all electricity to be carbon-neutral by 2030, and all new passenger cars, trucks and buses to be zero emissions by 2030.
Even if Mrs Warren were able to achieve this — and she can’t, even if she were elected Dictator — banning hydraulic fracturing “on (her) first day as president” would mean a significant drop in American natural gas production. That would result in two things:
- As production dropped, the demand for natural gas being somewhat inelastic — something a senator representing a New England state ought to know — the price must increase, and the United States will need to import more natural gas to keep people’s homes heated. Remember: the presidential inauguration occurs in the coldest month of the year in the US.
- Natural gas replaced coal as the primary source of fuel for electric power plants, in part because ‘fracking’ made natural gas cheaper. As the price increases, many power companies will consider switching back to coal, the price of which is depressed, to reduce costs. Coal burns dirtier than natural gas.
Mrs Warren, an attorney masquerading as an economist, ought to be smart enough to understand this. Her presidency, if we are to believe what she has said, would lead to Americans not only having to pay more to heat their homes, but have more of their dollars sent outside of our economy, to enrich other nations while costing some Americans their jobs. Either she is lying to us, or she’s just too dumb to be president.
Add to that the fact that Mrs Warren wants to end electricity generation by nuclear power plants.² In 2018, natural gas had the largest share of electric power generation, at 35.1%, while 27.4% was generated by burning coal. That, alone, is 62.5% of total electricity generation in this country, with petroleum and other gases adding another 0.9%. Nuclear power generation, which is another bugaboo of the left, added 19.3%. Total renewable energy production was 17.1%, roughly 1/6 of the total.
As biased as CNN is, the third-ranked cable news network did Americans a huge favor. The Democratic National Committee did not want one of the debates focused on climate change, because they knew that it would push the candidates to do something really radical, and that is tell (some of) the truth about their climate change plans. When CNN pushed it, we had the spectacle of the candidates telling us that they were going to stick their noses into what we put on our dinner tables, by saying we couldn’t eat as much meat, ban plastic straws and we’d all have to buy electric cars. Salon’s Sophia Tesfaye said, “More like this, please,” and I most certainly agree: I want the Democrats to keep telling the American people how much they plan on controlling every little aspect of their lives, because I want to see the Democrats lose. The more they keep talking, the more likely that is.
¹ – At least as of 8:00 AM EDT on Saturday, September 7, 2019, the Issues page of Mrs Warren’s campaign website, when you click on the heading Accelerating the Transition to Clean Energy, sends you to an off-site article by Mrs Warren on medium.com, which asks you to sign up for the site. Mrs Warren’s commitment to Governor Jay Inslee’s (D-WA) proposals has not been included on her campaign website as of yet.
² – Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Pete Buttigieg, and Julian Castro have also expressed similar sentiments. In 2010, President Obama issued permits for the construction of new nuclear power plants, construction on two of which began in 2013.
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