Nov. 16, The Telegraph, Macon, Ga., on U.S. being No. 1 producer of oil and gas:
The headline on the report from the International Energy Agency proclaimed that the United States would be, by 2017, the world's top oil producer, stepping ahead of Saudi Arabia. The report also predicts the United States will be the world's largest producer of natural gas in three years surpassing Russia.
Seems impossible doesn't it? The report goes on to say that in about two decades America would be "self-sufficient," meaning we couldn't be held hostage by the Middle East for our energy needs.
Don't feel too sorry for Saudi Arabia, while we won't have them to blame for gas prices anymore, there is still a healthy market for their crude. Instead of it being shipped here, it will head to China and India. Will we be able to name our own price for gas? Well, no. That's set on the world market and even though we will be self-sufficient we will still be vulnerable to the ups and downs of the global marketplace,
At the base of the predictions by the IAE are increased mileage standards and the sobering realization that as long as we depend on fossil fuels -- here and abroad -- that there will be more freakish storms such as Hurricane Sandy. The message that we will be self-sufficient should not slow efforts to discover and refine new energy resources not tied to oil and gas.