Saturday, February 13 , 2016, 11:25 am | Fog/Mist 55º

Tom Donohue: A New Era of Energy Abundance

By Tom Donohue |

This Thanksgiving, as American families count their blessings, we as a nation should also give thanks for what we have — an abundance of affordable, accessible and safe energy. It could revitalize America’s economy, create millions of jobs, help reduce our deficit and lessen our dependence on foreign sources.

Because of technological advancements, we can now tap vast oil and gas resources in geologic formations that were previously too costly and too difficult to reach. As a result, we have access to a 100-year supply of natural gas, and by 2020, oil production is expected to rise 68 percent above 2008 levels.

This is a game-changer. Until recently, we were spending billions of dollars annually to import foreign oil, which made up 60 percent of our supply just five years ago. Our economy was increasingly vulnerable to the whims of unfriendly regimes and disruptions to the global energy supply.

Today, the boom in shale oil and natural gas — as well as opportunities in other sectors of the energy industry — could transform our economy.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy recently sponsored a report by energy research firm IHS-CERA to assess the economic benefits of the shale boom — if policymakers don’t get in the way. Shale development has produced 1.75 million jobs over the past few years and could be responsible for 3.5 million jobs by 2035. Shale energy development will pump $237 billion into the U.S. economy this year and could generate $2.35 trillion in government revenues by 2035.

But we won’t realize the full potential of our energy resources without sound policy and prudent development.

Much of the recent progress has been despite the federal government, not because of it. Most of the new production is taking place on private or state lands — federal lands remain largely closed.

The private sector has driven growth by investing in new technologies. And the industry is working with state governments and the public to adopt best practices and strict environmental standards, and the states are effectively regulating energy development. But federal bureaucratic roadblocks, such as overregulation, endless environmental reviews, tax hikes and permitting delays, could halt new development.

America’s leaders must not squander this opportunity. That’s why the Chamber of Commerce is pushing for expanded energy development in any Big Deal that Congress strikes to address our fiscal challenges.

Yes, America has plenty to be thankful for. We’ve got all the elements for a new era of energy abundance — natural resources, technology, capital and an entrepreneurial spirit. Now, let’s adopt an agenda that reflects it.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

» on 11.21.12 @ 11:58 AM

Yeah, but hey what’s climate failure when we’re talking about pumping “$237 billion dollars into the economy”?

» on 11.21.12 @ 04:21 PM

Climate failure? Right, the atmosphere had 5 times the current levels of CO2 500 million years ago; it was warmer, more humid and supported far more abundant life of far greater variety. Yet you global warming alarmists want us to return to the ice age. You believe returning carbon, sequestered for millions of years, back to where it came from is bad and will change the climate for the worse. Ok, I’m game, prove it.

» on 11.21.12 @ 04:43 PM

Interesting that Mr. Donohue does not mention the strong connection between
greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, and the danger of worldwide
climate change and sea-level rise in his paean to expanded energy production.

Also notice how he tries to diplomatically skirt past the suggestion from his D.C.
cousin, the American Petroleum Institute, that private sector energy producers
should “not be hampered by new regulations” in terms of where they ship their
new oil and gas.

Which is a code-phrase for their already-expressed wish NOT to make America
“energy independent”, but to be able to ship as much energy as they want any
where in the world where the spot-market pays them the most. Which could be
to China or India, or anywhere, at the expense of American business or industry.

Exaggerated? Not really.

Look back at what the private energy sector did with most of the oil and gas they tookfrom the Alaska North Slope, after they bought Congress’ permission
to drill and ship from there.

Two-thirds of all energy extracted there went to FOREIGN buyers, who used our
domestic energy reserves to compete with American business.

That’s the dirty secret about why Exxon, BP, Chevron were raking in billions in
corporate profits, even while the American economy was at the bottom of the tank.

Now that Donohue’s herculean efforts to Romneyize the White House, and
McConnellize the Senate have failed, maybe he try to match up future American
and world energy needs with climate change, sea-level rise, and guarantees that
a clear preference will exist to keep new energy supplies in the United States.

Quarterly profits are just that, quarterly. Climate change, if it’s triggered, could
last for many centuries, if not permanently.

» on 11.23.12 @ 05:53 PM

Publius, climate change is going to happen no matter what we do. Our addition or subtraction of carbon dioxide will play a small role in either accelerating or decelerating the change but we cannot stop the direction the change is heading and will have little impact on the eventual magnitude.

Further, the socio-economic impacts of eliminating carbon fuel from human activity will have a far more disastrous effect on the poorest humans than the effect of climate change itself. This is not only being ignored by AGW alarmists but actually preferred as it will undoubtedly reduce the human population through starvation.

The carbon dioxide humans are putting into the atmosphere right now came from the atmosphere originally. In fact most of the atmospheric carbon dioxide once present and responsible for a far warmer earth with far more prolific and variety of life is permanently locked up in limestone deposits and there is little chance it will ever be returned. The very small amount we are returning from burning fossil fuels won’t do much, if anything to our long term climate.

I would suggest you educate your self on the carbon cycle, which all life revolves around. To those religious zealots who once faced with the facts mentioned above and then insist its not the amount of CO2 but the rate at which it is being returned, I give you Taupo, Tambora, Krakatoa and all other large volcanic eruptions that have spewed the entire amount of CO2 produced by humans since the beginning of the industrial age in one event.

Realize that climate change as presented by the AGW religion is designed to make you afraid and to drive you to hate humans and all they do. It is the most effect misanthropic religion to date.

What I would like to know is why you non-scientists, continue to bleat this religion without even the remotest attempt at doing any credible research on your own to ferret out the truth.

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