Extracting Shale Oil Increased US Domestic Production – This Is About Private Sector Efforts, Nothing To Do With Government Policies, Says The Financial Times

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By Paolo von Schirach

March 25, 2012

WASHINGTON– The following is an excerpt from a The Financial Times article, (Once more over a barrel, March 24-25, 2012), that discusses in detail the economic impact of higher oil prices and what governments can do and have done about them.

Quote from the FT:

“….In the US, Mr. Obama has been this week on a two-day “energy tour”, visiting sites for the production ob both fossil fuels and renewable power. Under pressure over fuel prices, and criticized for decisions such as the six-month moratorium on deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP spill in 2010, he has been highlighting the fact that US output is at its highest for eight years, and import volumes have fallen to below half of consumption for the first time in more than a decade.

However, that is primarily the result of a surge in production of oil from shale rock, made possible by advances in the techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, and has little to do with any government policy…. ” [bold added]

Obama administration silent on US fossil fuels revolution

That’s right. In fact, increased US oil production, (think of the Bakken field in North Dakota), is taking place despite a clear Obama administration bias in favor of renewable energy and against fossil fuels. There is no doubt that at some point renewable energy will be needed in America and around the world. But fossil fuels is what we have and need right now, and the US happens to have a lot more oil and gas than what we previously thought.

And yet, for three years President Obama has been essentially silent on the fossil fuels revolution underway, (shale oil but also the spectacular rise in shale gas production). But now, with the elections coming up, he is trying to take full credit for it, as if this were the happy result of policies he pushed and got implemented. This is disingenuous and frankly dishonest. A the FT correctly put it, increased US oil output is the result of private sector driven new technologies “and has little to do with any government policy” .


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