WASHINGTON – America’s small and independent oil and gas producers are leading our nation to a new age of energy abundance and security. Oil imports have decreased from 60 percent in 2005 to 47 percent today, thousands of Americans are back to work, and OPEC nations like Saudia Arabia have admitted to feeling uneasy about North America’s vast new energy supplies. Yet it is only with strong leadership and increased access to our immense onshore and offshore energy reserves that our nation will be able to truly follow the path that the independents have paved. With the 2012 election nearing by the day, we are reminded of this fact now more than ever.
As the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s (IPAA) President Barry Russell noted this week in the National Journal, “it is important that the United States looks inside its borders to flex its own energy muscles.” Few could say it better:
“The United States stands at a critical juncture. One road, chained in limited access and overregulation, leads to deepening dependence on foreign pressures and economic stagnation. The other road, propelled by opened access and thoughtful regulation, beckons to economic rebirth and an energy future we can call our own. Let’s hope that the U.S. government guides us in the second direction. (National Journal, 1/4/12)
As the much anticipated Iowa Caucus came to a close-and the 2012 election comes knocking on our doorstep-we are again reminded of our nation’s need for strong, decisive, and engaged leadership. Without it, our nation’s health and success are placed at risk, our vast energy reserves remain in limbo, and jobs and security for our citizens are cast off as mere causalities of inaction.
To date, the immense success of our nation’s independent producers, regardless of the federal government’s barriers to development, has been truly impressive. From North Dakota to Pennsylvania to Colorado-American energy is spurring growth across the nation. We must ensure its continued success.
The facts are not hard to find (but we found them for you):
- America’s Future Is Oil. Even if you don’t count Alaska, the new boom of off-shore drilling and oil shale production should add another 1.5 million barrels a day to our domestic output by 2015. That’s closing on Saudi Arabia’s daily total. (Fox,1/4/12)
- Deep Gulf drilling thrives 18 mos. after BP spill. Two hundred miles off the coast of Texas, ribbons of pipe are reaching for oil and natural gas deeper below the ocean’s surface than ever before. (Associated Press, 1/1/12)
- Obama’s Fracking Rules Show Policy on ‘Wrong Track,’ API Says. President Barack Obama’s energy policy is on the “wrong track” by promoting natural gas while drafting restrictions on the hydraulic fracturing process that produces the fuel, the biggest energy industry group said. (Bloomberg, 1/4/12)
- More Brown Jobs. Try as government usually does, it’s hard to keep the U.S. economy down. That’s the message of yesterday’s announcement of some $4.8 billion in new foreign investment in America’s booming shale oil and gas industry. (Wall Street Journal, Editorial, 1/3/12)
- Oil and Gas Bubble Up All Over. You’ll know the U.S. energy industry is really on the rebound when North Dakota’s newfangled Bakken oil field starts pumping more crude than Alaska’s stalwart Prudhoe Bay. Energy experts expect it to happen in 2012. (Wall Street Journal, 1/3/12)
- Colorado emerges as next oil frontier. In Colorado, the target is the tight oil of the Niobrara formation. Houston-based Ultra Petroleum Corp. is on the fringe of the formation in El Paso County and believes it can unearth 150 million barrels of oil. (Globe and Mail, 1/4/12)
- Group says ND is oil development leader. The president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute has identified North Dakota as one of the oil development leaders in this country. Jack Gerard delivered the institute’s second annual State of American Energy address Wednesday in Washington, D.C. (Minot Daily News, 1/5/12)
- Pennsylvania boomtown is fracking its way to one of nation’s highest growth rates. Williamsport, best known as the home of Little League Baseball, is now the seventh-fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis data released this year. Thanks to fracking, it is suddenly flush, brought back to life by a natural gas boom as energy companies and roughnecks hunt for profits under the nearby Appalachian hills. (The Daily,1/2/12)