The biggest revolution in the American energy industry is taking place today. In the chart above, you can see that natural gas is gaining on oil as the largest source of primary energy consumed in the United States. Two factors are at play. The first is the revolution in shale gas drilling that has made major new resources of gas available for consumption. The second is the decline in the consumption of petroleum fuels in America, which peaked in 2005.
But there is more revolution to come. Shale oil deposits in North Dakota are being unlocked by the same technologies that have supplied so much natural gas. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has projected that use of the new drilling techniques will make the U.S. the world’s #1 producer of oil before 2020. Couple that with declining consumption, and the IEA projects that the U.S. will be a net exporter of oil by 2030.
The winner here is America’s small businesses and manufacturers, who can rely on oil and natural gas not held hostage by the petroleum cartel. That peace of mind will allow energy-intensive industries to create more jobs and prosperity in America.