Without Any Real Input from Washington, The Energy Outlook in America Has Been Transformed
"Forget Al Gore’s “planet in peril.” Forget also Mr. Obama’s promise that future generations would look back on his nomination as “the day the oceans stopped rising.”
Embrace instead the language of tar sands, shale gas, fracking and tight oil. Without quite knowing whether they were new boondoggles or potential game-changers, the debate in Washington until recently largely ignored these escalating supply shocks. Yet together, they have transformed America’s energy outlook. Because of better technology, notably breakthroughs in drilling, the U.S. all of a sudden realizes it is sitting on a century’s worth of gas supply (see chart above of domestic production). When Mr. Obama came to office, the country faced projections of rising natural gas imports from places like Qatar.
The same technology has unlocked ever-growing estimates of once inaccessible “tight” oil lurking beneath America’s rocks. In its immediate neighborhood, Alberta’s huge expanse of “tar sands” contains oil reserves that rank Canada second only to Saudi Arabia. In Brazil, recent advances in offshore oil drilling will relegate Venezuela into second place in the region.
Without any real input from Washington, windfalls just keep dropping into America’s lap. Welcome to a new age of plenty."
Conclusion: "A new era of fossil fuel appears to be upon us and nobody saw it coming."