Energy Independence

Energy Independence

Just seven years after President George W. Bush lamented the United States' addiction to foreign oil, we are on the verge of energy independence. The United States and Canada are in the midst of a boom in oil and gas production at the same time that U.S. fuel consumption is falling. The result is turning energy markets on their heads.

Add to that the potential for energy reform in Mexico, which many believe would unleash a surge in exploration and production, and North America is positioned to become a global energy powerhouse.

U.S. oil production is at its highest level in 20 years, while its oil demand is at a 17-year low. According to a recent Citigroup report, in just five years the U.S. may no longer need to import oil from any source but Canada.

Driving the North American oil boom are technological innovation and increased investment. New production techniques like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", have allowed producers to extract oil and gas from rock formations that were previously thought to be impenetrable. Oil and gas production has jumped in states like North Dakota, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which together are producing 1.5 million barrels of oil a day. That total rivals the output of major producers like Venezuela, which is currently exporting around 1.6 million barrels per day.

What would North American energy independence actually mean?

In the most basic terms, the U.S. would no longer have to rely on importing oil from countries that are hostile to its interests. Continued increases in production would also decrease global prices which would reduce the power of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which includes top producers like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela. 


Recommended Book

In Ethical Oil, Levant turns his attention to another hot-button topic: the ethical cost of our addiction to oil. While many North Americans may be aware of the financial and environmental price we pay for a gallon of gas or a barrel of oil, Levant argues that it is time we consider ethical factors as well.

With his trademark candor, Levant asks hard-hitting questions: With the oil sands at our disposal, is it ethically responsible to import our oil from the Sudan, Russia, and Mexico? How should we weigh carbon emissions with human rights violations in Saudi Arabia? And assuming that we can't live without oil, can the development of energy be made more environmentally sustainable?

In Ethical Oil, Levant exposes the hypocrisy of the West's dealings with the reprehensible regimes from which we purchase the oil that sustains our lifestyles, and offers solutions to this dilemma. Readers at all points on the political spectrum will want to read this timely and provocative new book, which is sure to spark debate.

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