by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In 2017, despite millions of square miles being off limits to drillers, America is close to reaching 10 million barrels of crude-oil production per day, the highest level in the nation’s history. The U.S. may soon surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest petroleum producer.
When American natural gas (about 20 percent of the world total) and coal (the largest reserves in the world) are factored into the fossil-fuel equation, the U.S. is already the largest producer of energy in the world.
While environmentalists worry about polluting the water table and heightening seismic activity through hydraulic fracturing, fracking seems to become more environmentally sensitive each year.
When OPEC and other overseas producers tried to bankrupt frackers by flooding the world with their supposedly more cheaply produced oil, the effort backfired. American entrepreneurs learned to frack oil and natural gas even more cheaply and undercut the foreign gambit. The result is a windfall for all sectors of the American economy.
From 2014 to 2016, fracking helped cut the price of gasoline by $1.50 a gallon, saving American drivers an average of more than $1,000 per year.