Planet Gore

‘Why and How We Should Break OPEC Now’

A good piece by Robert Zubrin in The New Atlantis:

Usually when a country is likened to Saudi Arabia, it is not a compliment — unless of course it concerns vast energy resources. Since the 1970s, American politicians and energy analysts have described the United States as “the Saudi Arabia of coal” — a phrase meant to suggest that, while America’s oil reserves were inferior to those of the desert kingdom, we could take consolation in having the world’s largest coal reserves.

Today, however, America is in the midst of an energy boom that seems to be changing the nation’s energy outlook. Thanks in part to advances in hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as “fracking”), horizontal drilling, and other techniques, the U.S. energy industry is bringing to market vast supplies of oil and natural gas that were previously inaccessible. Consider the statistics for oil: In 2008, U.S. production slumped below 5 million barrels per day, the lowest it had been since the 1940s; by the end of 2013, it exceeded 8 million barrels per day, the highest in more than two decades. By 2016, production is projected to reach or exceed the historic high of 9.6 million barrels per day set in 1970. The rise in natural gas production has been even steeper. In 2007, the United States produced 1.3 trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas; in 2011, it produced 8 trillion cubic feet. That figure is projected to reach 31.9 trillion cubic feet by 2025 and to keep climbing in subsequent decades.

As President Obama put it in 2012, the United States is now “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.” Indeed, with the United States even projected to become the world’s top oil producer by 2016 or earlier, perhaps such comparisons to Saudi Arabia are becoming outdated.

The rest here.

Most Popular

Liberalism as Faith

The British philosopher John Gray is not someone to shy away from ‘difficult’ topics. If you are looking for a provocative long read this weekend, his new article in the Times Literary Supplement ought to be a contender. I didn’t agree with all of it (for example, I would argue that the supposedly ... Read More
Culture

Our Cultural Crisis: A Kirkian Response

Editors’ note: The following article is adapted from a speech the author delivered at the Heritage Foundation on March 14, 2018. Few would dispute that we are in the middle of a grave cultural crisis. A despairing conservative critic wrote: “We are on the road to cultural disaster.” He placed the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

An Enduring Error

Editor’s Note: The following piece originally appeared in City Journal. It is reprinted here with permission. Fifty-one years ago, in July 1967, in response to an explosion of rioting in poor black urban neighborhoods around the United States, President Lyndon B. Johnson created the National Advisory ... Read More
Culture

The Mournful, Magnificent Sally Mann

‘Does the earth remember?" The infinitely gifted photographer Sally Mann asks this question in the catalogue of her great retrospective at the National Gallery in Washington. On view there is her series of Civil War battlefield landscapes, among the most ravishing works of art from the early 2000s. Once sites ... Read More