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U.S. Chamber: U.S. Now Fourth Most Energy Secure Country in the World, Thanks to Fracking

Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy published its annual International Energy Security Index report. According to the report, the United States is now the fourth most energy secure country in the world, up two spots in just one year. This significant improvement in national energy security is thanks to the shale revolution – spurred on by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) – which has allowed the United States to become the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer.

While many factors can impact a country’s energy security, such as natural disasters, policy changes, or political instability; innovation in fracking technology played the most substantial role in improving America’s energy security standing. As the report states:

“The relatively recent ascent of the United States up the ranking is a good example of how technology innovation and adoption, in this case of hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, and advanced seismic imaging, have changed energy security for the better despite, rather an because of federal policies.”

In fact, thanks to fracking, U.S. crude oil production increased an astounding 1.2 million barrels per day (bbl/d) from 2013 to 2014. To put that in perspective, that accounted for about 75 percent of the total production increase of 1.6 million bbl/d, according to the report. In addition, since fracking has unlocked a wealth of previously unreachable resources, the report estimates the United States is home to 78 billion barrels of unproved technically recoverable tight oil – more than other country – and 623 trillion cubic feet of wet shale gas.

Having these vast reserves and the technology to develope them is great news for the United States, especially considering global energy demand is expected to increase 48 percent by 2040, led by demand for liquid fuels (mostly oil) and natural gas. Of course, this global demand won’t be met without fracking.

As EID has previously reported, anti-fracking protestors and the “Keep It In The Ground” (KIITG) movement have sought to ban fracking (and all fossil fuel production) in the U.S. by disrupting public hearings, blocking oil and gas lease sales, and even harassing Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) officials at their own homes. But as this report shows, banning fracking and other fossil fuel production would not only jeopardize the economic wellbeing of the United States, it would irreparably damage U.S. energy security.

Even Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, addressed the “Keep It In The Ground” movement, stating:

“In this era of an increasing extreme ‘keep it in the ground’ movement, it is important to recognize that the shale revolution has made America almost 25 percent more secure than it was in 1980, reducing our risks across a variety of metrics.”

As the country’s energy security continues to improve, the United States is now more insulated from the influence of foreign oil producers and the economy benefits from cheap, abundant and reliable energy – thanks to fracking.

 

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