America's Hydrocarbon Boom

Overview

Abundant energy means Americans enjoy access to cheap energy while workers in the oil and gas industry earn some of the highest blue-collar wages in America. Low cost energy is also a crucial input to the petrochemicals and manufacturing sectors and a major factor behind the re-shoring of hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs.

The most damaging cost of decarbonizing the economy is the benefits of hydrocarbons foregone. Over the past decade, America’s energy potential has been transformed by The Shale Revolution, making it the world’s largest hydrocarbon producer and ending over half a century of dependence on net energy imports.

The International Energy Agency credits more natural gas from shale for why the U.S. has been reducing CO2 emissions faster than any other nation in the “history of energy.” Looking forward, from 2018-2035, IHS Markit reports that almost 2 million new jobs will become available in the U.S. oil and gas business thanks to shale. The U.S. is on track to be the world’s largest oil and gas exporter by 2024. This “freedom energy” will be essential in buffering the risky political influence of Russia and OPEC, readying to dominate an oil and gas hungry world.

Feature Charticle

America's Hydrocarbon Boom 

BP

Findings: 

  • Domestic production of oil and gas had been in decline since 1970 and 1973 respectively, sparking fears of Peak Oil, exacerbated by the twin oil price shocks of the 1970s.  
  • Despite the efforts of successive presidents to reduce American dependence on foreign energy, these declines continued but were quickly reversed the Shale Revolution, when output of oil and gas rose at the fastest rate seen anywhere in the world.

Source: BP, Statisical Review of World Energy, June 2019, https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy/downloads.html