The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

China Buys Oil and Gas; America Dithers

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted December 16, 2009

Have you ever wondered how other countries are preparing for their energy future? According to the Institute for Energy Research (IER), China is quietly investing in oil and natural gas supplies around the globe, including in North America, while the United States is hoping that wind and solar power will fuel the economy.

In a new report entitled, "China Secures Oil and Gas Resources; U.S. Prefers to Wait for Green Energy," IER explains that China is getting a foothold on oil and natural gas supplies in Canada and the Gulf of Mexico because the United States "seems to be giving it elbow room."

As the report points out, the administration has delayed or stopped several initiatives aimed at increasing domestic supplies of energy, including the delay of the new five-year leasing plan that would have set a schedule for U.S. offshore leasing and development:

"The Obama Administration prefers that priority be given to offshore wind farms and wind and solar installations onshore. They tout that these sources of 'green energy' will provide needed jobs...Further, most green technologies are dependent on the wind blowing or the sun shining, and thus provide a lower amount of usable energy than their fossil or nuclear counterparts. Hence, many more wind farms or solar installations will be needed to provide the same amount of energy as their fossil and nuclear counterparts. And, they will require more land area."

IER reports that Chinese banks are "willing and able" to provide financing for the nation's purchase of oil and natural gas assets. The question is: how will China's purchases affect U.S. energy security in the future?