NPR had a good piece Wednesday morning about the state of the economic recovery in the United States. What really stood out was its treatment of the transformative role played by the American oil and gas industry in driving economic growth and job creation. Among the guests on the Morning Edition segment was Zanny Minton Beddoes of The Economist, who highlighted the role of American shale oil and gas development. Beddoes said it “is completely revolutionizing part of the U.S. economy, and it’s a strength that a lot of other advanced economies haven’t got.”
Our nation’s political leadership routinely calls on companies across the country to invest in America. Turns out some companies are already doing a pretty good job of it, spurring economic growth and supporting job creation along the way – particularly in the U.S. energy industry.
American politics has a long and colorful history of hyperbole and exaggeration. Even still, the fact we are entering the thick of another campaign season shouldn’t give license to politicians to stretch the bounds of truth too far. That’s why it’s so disappointing to see campaign advertising from the president of the United States single out a leading American company with a claim that doesn’t hold water.
Are we living at a historic moment in the evolution of energy markets? The vast amount of natural gas in the United States and around the world now within our industry’s reach – thanks to advances in technologies used to produce energy from shale and other “unconventional” resources – suggests the beginning of a new era in the production of cleaner-burning natural gas. Yet even as development proceeds in the United States, the world’s response to this moment of opportunity is not certain. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has also recognized this pivotal moment. In a new report, the IEA spelled out the future implications if we take full advantage of this new energy opportunity – as well as what might happen if we don’t.