America Has Achieved Energy Independence!

Posted on Posted in Reflections

What does U.S. energy independence mean to the American consumer?

  • $2 per gallon gasoline in many states
  • Cleaner burning natural gas for energy production
  • We are no long dependent on the OPEC cartels
  • We are now exporting natural gas to Europe, breaking up the Russian monopoly.

All of this was achieved by American advances in fracking technology in spite of government obstruction.

A Tale of Two States

Unfortunately, this success story has not been supported by all states. Here is the sad tale of New York State vs. Pennsylvania and the vast Marcellus Shale deposit that lies below them both. Marcellus is one of most prolific sources of natural gas in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • Pennsylvania elected to develop their deposits, while New York did not. What happened:
  • By the end of 2018, Pennsylvania drillers were producing about 18 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day. That’s more gas than Canada now produces.
  • Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry employs 106,000 people and generated $247 million in gas related fees to the state last year.
  • And now, ironically, Pennsylvania supplies two thirds of the natural gas consumed in New York.

NY Restricts Gas Pipelines

While Pennsylvania moved forward, New York Governor Mario Cuomo blocked a 124-mile natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York and New England. The pipeline would have allowed millions of citizens in the region to convert to natural gas from dirtier and more expensive heating oil, saving residential users about $1,000 per year. The restraints have forced Consolidated Edison to place a moratorium on new natural gas hook-ups in New York City’s Westchester suburbs.

New York State has serious fiscal problems. High wage earners have left because of their high tax burden. The state would be well served to embrace fracking and natural gas production.

Energy and Its Many Benefits

Unfortunately, many Americans oppose fracking despite its resulting low energy costs.

There is a place for solar and wind energy, however the sun doesn’t always shine nor the wind blow. We still need electricity 24 hours a day, regardless of its source. In short, our energy strategy should be “all of the above”.

Our low-cost energy serves us well competitively with other countries. U.S. electricity is one-third the cost of Germany’s. That’s why German manufacturing plants are moving to the USA.

Summary

In little more than a decade, we have gone from an energy importer to an energy exporter. Costs have dropped dramatically, expanding our work force with more high paying jobs.

A win-win for all Americans!