Every day, across the nation, thousands of barrels of oil and natural gas are extracted and processed. In the last five years, the amount of oil and gas extracted has risen by staggering amounts thanks to innovations like horizontal drilling, which have lowered operating costs and increased extraction efficiency.
While most people living in the United States don’t give much thought to the shale revolution beyond the price they pay at the pump, the technological advances in the oil field have a very real impact on the daily lives of every US citizen.
In 2006, the Energy Information Administration predicted that carbon dioxide emissions would rise by 15 percent by 2017. They didn’t account for the shale revolution, which deflated the coal industry and enable the renewables sector. The result is that carbon dioxide emissions didn’t rise at all. In fact, they fell by 14 percent during that time.
That’s the amount of money that an average family of four saves as a result of the shale revolution. Because the industry has seen such dramatic innovation and growth over the last five years, the price of gas has fallen considerably. Those savings in production translate directly to the consumer.
When you add up the annual savings of individual consumers, you get a number that adds up to more than the gross domestic product of Ethiopia or the state of Kentucky.
Across the board, annual energy savings favor those US citizens on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. The poorest 20 percent of American households save 6.8% of their annual income as a result of lower oil and gas prices.
Between 2005 and 2017, the European Union enacted a series of policies designed to curb the growth of fracking projects across the continent. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions in the EU fell by about 20 percent. Heating and gasoline prices rose for consumers during this decade.
During that same period, the United States enacted no such policies. Not only did prices at the pump fall, but greenhouse gas emissions in the United States fell by 28 percent, a considerably larger margin than in the EU.
The Bureau of Land Management oversees roughly ten percent of the land in the United States. In 2018, the BLM generated more than $105 billion in economic output in its efforts to promote oil and gas exploration.
In addition to contributing a substantial sum of money to the United States’ bottom line, the BLM’s activity supports 471,000 jobs and counting. Three hundred thousand of those jobs are in the oil and gas industry. That’s more than 100,000 times the jobs supported by the BLM’s renewables sector.
Plus, those 300,000 jobs don’t take into account the various industries that a thriving oil and gas sector supports.