We Could Solve America’s Energy Dependence – If We Wanted To

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One of the things President Obama promised to do, when he became president, was to make America energy independent, freeing it from fossil fuels.

We have already seen the Solyndra debacle, in which the U.S. government gave $500 million to the company for its “interesting” technology, and then it almost immediately closed down. Solyndra wasn’t the only debacle.

The word “debacle” applies to a lot of the things the Obama Administration does!

It seems the smart people in the Obama Administration aren’t as smart as they thought they were.

The White House never talks to us about how energy independent the United States could be. The reason is that their ideology discounts anything they didn’t think of, anything that might refer to extracting energy from underground or under the sea.

The USA and Canada combined have access to the energy resources needed to make North America close to 100% independent of foreign liquid fuel supplies by 2024, according to a new report commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute.

The only reason we might want to keep importing oil from overseas would be to deplete their resources first, and while they are relatively inexpensive.

That would mean no more long military commitments to Middle Eastern dictators and despots who hate us. It would also mean no more wars without end.

The American Petroleum Institute report says The United States is “on the cusp of energy self-sufficiency and security through reliable, affordable, and abundant supplies of domestic oil and natural gas that can sustain and empower us well into the foreseeable future.”

The American Petroleum Institute goes so far as to say, “In fact, the U.S. is already the global leader in oil and natural gas production and together with Canadian energy supplies could produce more than 100 percent of its liquid fuel needs by 2024.”

That means we could be energy independent if we wanted to.

According to Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the API, he cautions, “The question before us today is whether we have the vision and wisdom to take full advantage of our vast energy resources.”

Gerard must be referring to the Keystone XL pipeline, because that one piece of infrastructure could transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil daily from Canada and the U.S. from the Bakken shale formation.

Republicans say that environmental influence on the president is what is stalling the deal. It certainly looks that way.

Oppressive regulations reduced the number of drilling permits on federal land by 36 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2012. At the same time, oil production increased 31 percent and natural gas production was up 25 percent on private and state land.

If we really wanted to be energy independent, the decision could to be extremely easy, but politics and ideology are in the way of making it happen.

According to available records, the wait for a federal drilling permit in North Dakota averaged 228 days in 2012 compared to 10 days for a state permit. That is where much of the Bakken formation is located.

The American Petroleum Institute says the oil and natural gas sector supports about 529,000 U.S. jobs, and the industry pays around $85 million a day to the U.S. Treasury in taxes, royalties, and other fees.

So what’s stopping this from happening, other than ideology and the idea of using up overseas resources first?

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. His BS in journalism from University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.

Dwight has 30 years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. A native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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