A phenomenal development

There is a phenomenal development afoot. It is delivering benefits to you. Many people want to stop it. But they will fail.

The development is oil and natural gas. On this continent. New technologies have brought forth at least 100 years’ supply of natural gas for us.  So much natural gas that its price has fallen 75 percent.  (A pity for those who claim big outfits conspire to fix energy prices. Do they think big gas companies welcome such low prices?)

New technologies have located and tapped vast oil reserves in North Dakota. This is apparently the fourth largest oil find in our history. Some engineers predict it will become the largest ever.

Such technologies are creating new oil and gas sources in Europe, the UK, Brazil, Argentina and other parts of the world. Just as other technologies have turned Canada’s oil sands into an immense pool of oil.

To give you a sense of the size of this: In recent years about 6000 new oil wells have been drilled in North Dakota.  Ninety percent of them make money. (An incredibly high percentage in the history of oil drilling.) Within two decades there may be nearly 50,000 wells in the state.

Here are some of the benefits. We worry that unfriendly foreigners hold the U.S. to ransom. They abuse us. Because we need their oil. In 2005 we had to import 60 percent of our oil from offshore. Today the figure is 49 percent. And falling rapidly.

More abundant oil and gas around the world will ease tensions. It will stifle oil powers like Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Venezuela. Today we worry about conflicts in the Middle East. Because so much of the world’s oil comes from that region. With oil and gas coming online from many other regions, the baddies will have far less clout. And they will have less money with which to fund their mischief.

Many electric companies are converting old coal-powered plants to the new cheap natural gas. You get cheaper electricity. You get cleaner air.  Meanwhile, our industries are enjoying lower energy costs. That is good for all of us.

All this oil and natural gas has the greens pulling out their hair. You can understand their predicament. Cheap and abundant oil and gas make solar and biofuels and wind less competitive. They need to be heavily subsidized as it is.

The greens staked a lot on the theory that oil and gas production had peaked. Well, it has not. The peak oil theorists did not foresee that new technologies would push peak oil far into the future.

The greens also believed scientists who told us carbon emissions cause global warming. (Later conveniently changed to “climate change.”) Many other scientists have shot holes in those theories. So many that the drive to limit carbon emissions is losing ground rapidly.

The greens decry the new technologies. They will pollute our water, they insist. They may certainly be right in some instances. And nobody can argue that oil, gas and mineral developers have pristine track records.  My point is simply that the greens will be no match for the force of cheap and abundant energy. They may win a skirmish here and there. But they will lose the battle.

Drilling technology is radically changing the global energy game. It will strengthen us and our allies in many ways. It will sap much of the power of those who wish to thwart us and bleed us. It will lower a number of the pressures that have led us into or threatened us with war. It will lower the cost of heating our homes.

And never forget what is most important to millions of Americans: It will put more folks behind the wheel of SUVs and bad-ass pickups.

They are doing a victory lap. Along with those who favor oil and gas. I don’t believe this is a lap the greens will toast.

From Tom ... as in Morgan.                  

For more columns and for Tom’s radio shows and new TV shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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