The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Antidote to Energy Inertia

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 7, 2011

Good editorial in The Oklahoman newspaper, lamenting America's lack of energy vision - even as a number of experts say the world's energy focus is shifting to the Americas:

"The default setting for a national energy policy in this country is inertia. We don't do much to advance a policy to promote greater independence. We actually do some things to promote more reliance on foreign supplies. But mostly we sit around and talk about the need for a comprehensive energy plan."

The editorial notes the volume of supply from unconventional sources - such as oil sands and natural gas from shale - that is changing the U.S. energy picture, or perhaps more accurately, changing the potential U.S. energy picture. The Oklahoman's point is well made, that policy stands in the way of realizing the benefits from a vast energy potential:

"And what is the federal government's response to trends that could ensure ample supply for the United States from within our own borders and from our neighbor to the north? It's to delay a pipeline project linking Canada to U.S. refineries, to hint at a federal takeover of fracturing oversight, and continued hostility to offshore drilling."

"This is lunacy, not policy. To say that the Obama administration is clueless on energy would be to give Washington too much credit. The usual straw man arguments against domestic supply are pumped out -- fracking, the pipeline and offshore drilling will destroy the water supply and decimate wildlife; fossil fuels have no long-term future -- but these arguments don't hold oil or water."

Silver lining? The Oklahoman notes the "march of technology and investment dollars" that is under way despite current policies - in Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Texas and other states - a march that is creating jobs, bolstering local and region economies and providing energy.

To quote our new favorite line from someone else about the oil and natural gas industry's growth promise (because it dovetails so well with The Oklahoman piece), there's this from a Wall Street Journal editorial:

"In any case the beauty of the oil and gas boom is that multipliers aren't needed to predict job growth. It's happening right before our eyes. And it stands to reason that if the Obama Administration dropped its hostility to oil and gas energy, even more jobs would be created as the industry invested to exploit other areas with new technology and production methods."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.