The United States continues to show its dominance in energy production — and it’s improving everything from geopolitics to energy poverty.
Oil, natural gas, refined products and chemicals are all being produced in the U.S. more cheaply, cleanly and efficiently thanks to the application of technological innovation in U.S. shale plays, conventional oil and gas production, transportation and hydrocarbon processing.
Our abundance, coupled with growing global demand, is resulting in allowing the U.S. to export these commodities and products in increasing numbers, growing our economy and helping balance — even reduce — our trade balance.
For natural gas, the growth has been staggering.
Just three years ago, there were no LNG exports from the contiguous United States. Today, it now exports 3.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), and in three years, according to estimations, the U.S. will emerge as an even larger global leader, supplying 20 percent of global LNG demand, with LNG making up 10 percent of total U.S. demand.
As this trend continues, the benefits mount.
For the U.S., the benefits come in jobs, economic growth, reducing trade benefits, enhancing geopolitical strength and increased good will. Natural gas usage is also having tremendous environmental benefits. As the U.S. increases its use of natural gas as a generation fuel, its greenhouse emissions continue to fall. In fact, they’re now at the lowest level the nation has seen in 25 years, even as energy demand increases. Other emissions continue to plummet as well.
That’s the kind of environmental stewardship and leadership many other nations — including our European allies, despite their strong vocal support for combating climate change — cannot claim.
Now, imagine if we could take the benefits our natural gas abundance provides and use them to better the world. In many ways, that’s already unfolding.
Case in point: China, which needs more American-produced natural gas to grow its economy, reduce air pollution and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. This, too, is great news. It can be even better if we pursue balanced policies that will literally change the world via upticks in safer, cleaner-burning natural gas production.
In less well-off nations, it can be a go-to weapon in combating energy poverty, which deprives cash-strapped, lower-income households – even those living on set incomes or paycheck to paycheck — access to cheaper, cleaner and more abundant energy resources, like natural gas.
Energy poverty creates pollution by forcing people to burn more wood and other dirtier forms of energy which frequently cause severe health problems and force men, women and children to walk miles each day in search of sources of light and heat.
Likewise, energy poverty denies households access to the kind of the must-have information and technological tools they need to reduce costs, allocate funds to pay off other critical bills, and propel them into a more modernized world.
We have the solution, right here in the U.S.
According to the Potential Gas Committee, a diverse group of volunteer geologists, engineers and other experts who prepare assessments of the nation's potential gas resources, the U.S. has 2,817 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas in addition to 324 Tcf of proved reserves, as estimated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
That’s a staggering amount of energy. The only real ceiling we have to the amount of gas we can produce is the market which consumes it. With so much need for clean, affordable, reliable energy around the world, the opportunity is astounding.
We can substantially address the world’s energy needs, significantly reduce — perhaps end — energy poverty, clean the air and reduce illnesses and health issues worldwide through the production, liquefaction, transportation and distribution of U.S. natural gas. It could be one of the greatest contributions ever made.
We simply need the imagination, ingenuity and will to do it, plus the support of domestic and global policymakers and their constituents.
Jack Belcher is executive vice president for HBW Resources and consults energy and transportation clients on government relations, regulatory affairs, situational risk management, coalition building and stakeholder relations. He is also Managing Director of the National Ocean Policy Coalition.
© 2023 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.