Vacation season has been in full swing and Americans are on the road. Gasoline has not been $4 a gallon, as people feared it would be back in February when oil was above $100 a barrel. You can pull your fifth wheel into the campground, take that new boat for a spin on a smooth-as-glass lake in Maine, spot American eagles while on a cruise in Alaska. These are the fruits of a healthy oil and gas industry. No prohibitive prices. No fuel shortages.
Maybe it is a good thing that the U.S. has no formal energy policy. There is the Energy Policy Act of 2005, signed into law by President George W. Bush . Not much but hot air since then—and a lot of hot air now blowing on the presidential campaign trail about U.S. energy policy.
It is not the politicians who have made this plentiful energy possible. The free market has done its job, freeing up U.S. producers to do what was recently unthinkable: uncover a century’s supply of natural gas, and increase domestic oil production.
Since last October, U.S. oil output has risen 6% to reach 6 million barrels a day—a level not seen since 1998, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration . The sources of this happy news are wells in the Bakken, Eagle Ford and deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Early data from the EIA show that the Bakken and Eagle Ford combined have already reached 1.23 million barrels of oil a day. During the recent $1.7-billion Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale, Statoil alone bid $157 million to win a single block that it apparently wanted badly.
So this summer, let’s remember to let the free market reign.
When you do, this is what you get: North Dakota surpassing Alaska in oil production. In April, it produced 18.2 million barrels of oil, a vast increase from 10.5 million in the same period in 2011. In May, Texas produced an estimated 33 million barrels of oil and 540,627,465 thousand cubic feet of gas-well gas. In June the state issued another 1,950 drilling permits.
That bad, eh? No thanks to the feds, but the oil and gas industry is sure doing its part to get us beyond the Great Recession.
If one waits on the government for any stimulus, one is likely to wait a long time. In New York, desperate for more jobs, debate