USA – If you were around in the 1980’s, you know about the oil boom. Folks were living large. To brush up, catch an old rerun of J.R. Ewing on “Dallas.”
Looks like those big dollar days may be coming back. The US is now on track to become the biggest oil producer in the world, a title we haven’t had since 2002 when the Saudis cut their oil production post-9/11.
The Energy Department says we will produce 11.4 million barrels a day by next year, just below Saudi Arabia’s 11.6 million. By 2020, Citibank predicts we will be producing 13 to 15 million barrels a day.
Not so, if you listened to Mitt Romney at the second presidential debate: “Production on government land of oil is down 14% and production of gas is down 9%. It’s absolutely true.”
Actually, it’s not. Since Obama took office, oil production has gone up 13% and natural gas, up 14%, according to the Energy Information Administration.
As gas prices have risen, it has encouraged drillers to spend money on new drilling techniques to get to the “black gold.” Also, production at the BP spill site, the Gulf of Mexico, has gone back up and, as we’ve discovered almost too much natural gas, that equipment has been moved over to pumping oil.
Our real problem, though– as we pump our way toward 15 million barrels a day, we’re still burning up 18.7 million every day.
“That’s why we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars,” said President Obama in the debates. “That means any car you buy in the next decade, you’re going to end up going twice as far on a gallon of gas.”
That’s a good start, but we’d do better to focus on less finite fuel sources like wind power because if history has taught us anything, it’s that this year’s “oil king” can find himself at the bottom of the barrel next year.