On Thursday, September 13th the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on “The American Energy Initiative.” This hearing is the latest part of an ongoing initiative focused on critical energy issues in North America.
Thursday’s hearing will focus on the potential for achieving North American energy independence within the decade. Recent technological advances have made it cheaper and easier than ever to access our continent’s wide range of energy sources, enhancing our energy security. These technological advances are changing the way we look at energy.
There is no question anymore that we have plenty of energy within our borders. The issue is whether policies will enable us to actually use it. As Mark P. Mills from the Manhattan Institute has written: “The main obstacles to developing a North American oil surplus are political rather than geological or technological.”
Interestingly enough, the increase in production of oil and natural gas has for the most part taken place on private lands and not on federal lands. In fact, production on federal lands has dropped significantly: according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), 96 percent of the increase in domestic oil supplies since 2007 has come from production on non-federal lands. As Mills has pointed out, this is due mainly to the political landscape and not geological formations. (continue reading…)