While OPEC has stymied production in the hopes of clearing a surplus of oil and gas on the world market, the United States’ shale producers have gleefully amped up production to fill the hole created in OPEC’s absence. As a result, the United States’ is poised to continue a transition begun under President George W. Bush and then heavily promoted under President Obama.
Thanks to some international developments and some recent domestic discoveries, the United States is poised to become truly energy independent. And the entire world that stands to benefit.
The US has Enough Energy for Everyone
For more than 60 years, the United States has been unable to keep the lights on without a steady supply of oil and gas imports from foreign countries. In recent years, however, several high profile domestic shale discoveries have put the United States in a position to feed its own admittedly massive energy needs. Even better, there’s enough shale under the United States to supply a big portion of the rest of the world’s energy needs, as well.
That’s saying something, because the world is slowly catching up with the US in oil consumption. The United States Energy Information Administration predicts that by 2040 the worldwide demand for oil and gas will rise by as much as 56 percent. That kind of public outcry is big business for a country that’s primed and ready to supply the rest of the globe.
That’s not the only reason that the US’ energy independence could have a positive impact.
The Changing International Landscape
As the United States gets to a place where it no longer relies on the oil extracted from the Middle East, the entire outlook on international relations could change. Whether or not you believe that our intentions for originally interceding in the area was motivated by nobility or greed, the international perception is that the United States’ Middle East policy is governed by a hunger for crude oil.
If that’s true and the United States were only interested in the region’s most prominent export, becoming energy independent will likely mean the need for less military and political intervention on our part. That will mean the world can learn to sort out its own problems.
On the other hand, if we were genuinely interested in stabilizing the Middle East and spreading freedom to every corner of the globe, then our energy self-sufficiency removes what the rest of the world perceives as ulterior motives in our dealings. That lends more power to our voice in the region, for what that’s worth.
Either way, the United States’ seemingly unstoppable move toward becoming energy independent is good news for everyone currently sharing our little planet.