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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Shale Boom Gives the U.S. a New Edge in Energy and Diplomacy

New York Times article recap by Kelly Seward

According to the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organization established in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, the United States is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia and rival Russia as the world’s leader in oil output, with a record output of over 10 million barrels a day. This is a striking contrast to the 1970s, when Arab oil boycotts forced American motorists to line up for blocks just to fill their tanks, while the economy went into a tailspin.

At the same time, due to technological advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which spurred the shale revolution, the United States is becoming a major producer of natural gas, undercutting Russian dominance over Eastern Europe and abroad. Pennsylvania accounted for 20% of total U.S. dry natural gas production in 2016, second behind only Texas.

Daniel Yergin, an economic historian and the author of “The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power,” calls this a “180-degree turn for the United States” and says “the impacts are being felt around the world.”

The results go beyond American economic benefit, as the shale drilling revolution has remade the global energy market and has led to a stable balance of power.

Access to abundant domestic energy relieves pressure on the United States to act militarily if tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia break out into war. The United States and its allies now have a supply cushion at a time when political turmoil in Venezuela, Libya, and Nigeria, is threatening to interrupt flows to market. With energy security, the United States now has strategic weapons once unthinkable.

Everyday Americans are feeling better about energy security, too, according to a recent Gallup poll, “Do you think that the United States is or is not likely to face a critical energy shortage during the next five years,” In 2008, before the Marcellus shale became a major player, 64% of respondents believed the U.S. would face a critical energy shortage in the next five years. However, the same poll in 2016 revealed 67% of respondents do not believe the U.S. will face a critical energy shortage during the next five years.

Read more at: and data from


Anonymous said...

God bless America, & the drillers and frackers. Good job.

Patricia Miller said...

If we've become number one why are gas prices still spiraling out of control. It's sad when the refineries aren't paying any more now for a barrel of oil than they did 10 years ago but we're still paying over $2.00 more a gallon for gas.

Anonymous said...

Yet, people complain about $3 a gallon gasoline, but gladly pay over a DOLLAR a Pint for water!! That equals between $8 and $11.20 a
GALLON for water....................

Anonymous said...

Water sustains life since when did putting $10 in gas in your car keep you alive

Anonymous said...

Air sustains life too and it's free, just like water if you have enough ambition to go get it. Does post 238 walk EVERYWHERE heshe goes?

Anonymous said...

@2:38:00, I challenge you to live a life without oil and gas. Filling your car tank with it is one thing. I personally would not be able to travel and visit my family without affordable gas, which I am thankful for. But, do not forget all of the consumer products that contain oil and gas IN them while being manufactured with energy from fuels or electricity, of which oil and gas supply over 1/3rd of. Even electric cars are using electricity that is generated by natural gas, not 100% renewable energy. Can't make solar panels without oil and gas, and can't transport or build behemoth wind turbine farms without it either. Having affordable (without government subsidies like solar and wind) energy like oil and gas are pretty much keeping me alive.

Anonymous said...

Re: 2:38 PM

Life Flights and Ambulances use petroleum fuel.....

Do You work??? How do You and Your fellow workers get there?

Manufactured products need to be shipped to consumers with fuel...

Your doctor needs to get to work......

You live better because of petroleum products..................

There is always an environmental cost related to progress. Usually it is worthwhile.