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Shale Is Hale
American Energy Booms On

America is sitting pretty when it comes to energy production, and a new report suggests things will be getting even better. In its January Short-Term Energy Outlook, the Energy Information Administration bumped up its forecasts for U.S. oil and gas production. Oil output is set to hit a 43-year high next year, while annual natural gas production is expected to rise to an all-time high for the fifth straight year in 2015.

Even better, burgeoning domestic production means less of a need to import oil and gas. Natural gas imports are forecast to drop to a near 30 year low next year, and as the WSJ reports, America’s oil trade balance is at its healthiest state in 20 years:

The trade deficit in petroleum products hit a 2013 low in November, falling to $15.2 billion, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday. Adjusted for inflation in 2009 dollars, the gap between petroleum imports and exports is the lowest since at least 1994.

These reports are the latest expressions of the transformative power of the shale boom. The dual technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling have remade the American energy landscape, and the ripples are extending out across the world. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski agitated for opening up U.S. oil exports in a speech yesterday, and the Obama Administration is already taking cautious steps to open up America’s glut of natural gas to customers abroad.

As Daniel Yergin puts it, “the shale-energy revolution [provides] a new source of resilience for the US and enhances America’s position in the world.” Let the good times roll.

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  • Scott Morgan

    One of the many pluses of North American energy production is that the dollars flow to ourselves or friendly neighbors instead of flowing to governments with “mixed” feelings toward providing support for what we would view as terrorists. I realize that Chinese yuans are replacing our dollars but it is still an improvement even if only to provide downward pressure on pricing.

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