Benefits of Increased Domestic Production
A recent opinion piece by Alex Mills in “Rigzone” points out the positive employment, national security, environmental and macroeconomic effects of the recent increase in domestic oil and gas production.
In Texas alone, petroleum related jobs have increased by 112% since 2003, from 134,500 to 285,000.
Concurrently, net oil imports have fallen from a peak of almost 13 million barrels of oil per day (bopd), to 5 million. Much of this is attributable to oil produced from tight formations which increased from less than a million bopd in 2010 to 3 million in 2013. Increased domestic oil production is helping immunize us from countries who used the “oil weapon” against us in the 1970’s and would not hesitate to do so again, if they thought it served their purposes.
There are environmental benefits as well. The EPA estimates that there has been an 8% decrease in toxic air releases, primarily as a result of increased use of natural gas for electric power generation. In 2013 over 50% of new power plants burned natural gas.
It has been difficult for U.S. manufactures to compete with their Asian counterparts who had the advantage of cheap labor. This was only partially offset by the cost of transporting goods from their point of origin to the U.S. market. Now domestic manufacturers have the added advantage of cheap, safe and dependable energy.
To read the article in its entirety, please go to http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/132643/ .