Is America’s “Energy Independence” Sustainable?

THE BATTLE OVER (FUTURE) BARRELS …   By FITSNEWS  ||  Sometimes we hate our truth-telling role in the marketplace of ideas.  Why?  We’re happy people by nature, and if it were up to us all the news would be good.  Rainbows and unicorns 24/7, people. But alas … facts are stubborn…


By FITSNEWS  ||  Sometimes we hate our truth-telling role in the marketplace of ideas.  Why?  We’re happy people by nature, and if it were up to us all the news would be good.  Rainbows and unicorns 24/7, people.

But alas … facts are stubborn things, and we believe it’s important to find them, share them and expound upon them.  Like this.

Today we’re looking at the energy issue through the lens of gas prices – which have dropped to $3.01 per gallon of regular unleaded nationwide (down 33 cents in the last month alone).  Naturally any reduction in the cost of fuel is good.  That’s especially true in our home state of South Carolina where citizens pay a disproportionately high percentage of their modest incomes on fuel costs (second only to citizens of Mississippi, actually).

And as we noted in our recent story, increased domestic production has played a huge role in falling gas prices.  America is producing close to 9 million barrels of oil per day – which is up more than 60 percent from just three years ago.

That’s the highest level of domestic oil production in more than three decades …

Is it sustainable?  In the short term, yes.  According to a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), domestic production is currently projected to expand through 2019 – when it will hit an estimated 9.6 million barrels a day.  But after that there’s a projected drop off – with production gradually slowing to an estimated 7.6 million barrels a day by 2040.

Still, that’s a nice stretch of time during with the United States could be relatively energy independent … assuming the EIA’s numbers are correct.

But according to OilPrice.com’s Nick Cunningham, the EIA numbers may not be accurate.  In a must-read piece published earlier this week, Cunningham explores data from another report published this week by the Post Carbon Institute – a green think tank pushing alternative energy solutions.

According to the Post Carbon report, the EIA data is “extremely optimistic.”  It concludes that shale oil and shale gas production – i.e. what’s fueling the current boom – will peak before 2020.  In other words, the American energy revolution will end before it really began.

Naturally, we’re skeptical of both sets of data.   But whether you believe the government or the greenies when it comes to America’s future oil output – or think the truth is somewhere in between – the bottom line is our country should be doing everything it can to ramp up domestic capacity.

Or as our friend Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government (ALG) recently wrote, “Drill Baby Drill.”

Damn right.

Two years ago we laid out our views on the U.S. energy debate …

“We have no problem whatsoever supporting wind, solar, biomass or any other sort of clean, renewable energy source,” we wrote at the time. “Reducing our dependence on foreign energy sources is a commendable goal, as is the notion of being good stewards of our God-given environment – and clean energy is helpful on both fronts.  Having said that, it is not the job of the taxpayers to subsidize energy creation – be it clean or dirty.  Nor is it government’s job to impose excessive regulations (or create “carbon taxes” like the one pushed by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham) on energy production.”

We added that the two questions every citizen and taxpayer should ask related to any new energy venture (clean or dirty) would be 1) who’s paying for it? and 2) what’s its impact on consumer prices?

Our views have not changed …

Aside from limited oversight of public health and environmental considerations, government should not unduly restrict energy creation – nor should it subsidize traditional or alternative fuel sources.



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---- ____ ---- October 31, 2014 at 9:43 am

If you’re concerned with consumer prices, it makes zero since that you propose an end to subsidies. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that ending subsidies would cause consumer prices to skyrocket. Your article also doesn’t mention investing in energy efficiency which would be the cheapest and quickest way to become more energy independent. Increasing efficiency also directly benefits consumers.

Bible Thumper October 31, 2014 at 1:05 pm

The cost of energy includes consumer costs and government subsides. Someone pays for those subsides.

Correctomundo October 31, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Not in his world, the subsidies obviously come from the magic money tree. There is no such thing as “redistribution” in his world.

FastEddy23 November 1, 2014 at 10:37 am

FYI there are no subsidies of Big Oil in the U.S. or Canada. All oil business pays huge taxes, a very few get a discount on property taxes in expensive to drill areas. But g’ment makes it all back when the wells “come in”. … And oil companies must “contribute” big time to certain poli-wogs to get those small tax breaks … just like Chicago politics.

Bible Thumper November 1, 2014 at 11:28 am

Title of article “…Energy Independence…”
My comment and the comment I was responding to don’t mention OIL. Corn ethanol has received direct subsides and investment in the equipment still does. Corn farmers are subsidized. Alternative energy receives subsides. Electric vehicles receive subsides.
Wikipedia data just covers through 2010, but big oil got subsides. See United States section: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies

grandtangosuglydog November 1, 2014 at 12:03 pm

except for that little 7 BILLION in subsidies they receive..besides that your point is almost factual …almost. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/03/americas-most-obvious-tax-reform-idea-kill-the-oil-and-gas-subsidies/274121/

FastEddy23 November 4, 2014 at 11:40 am

$7 Billion in discounts on taxes for Big Oil, who pays more than $1 Trillion into the US Treasury each year. … That is a pretty small “subsidy” of 0.7% … Of course Big Oil will take it, but the really big subsidies go to the petrochemical industries’ competition … The G’ment/Media/Solar-Power Industrial complex: like Solandra, the BLM/Mohave Desert National Park(s) and other cozy-rosy-“capitalist” poli-wog “sustainable” “solutions”.

Smirks October 31, 2014 at 10:35 am

EIA includes volumes of biofuels in data on total petroleum consumption. In 2013, the United States consumed a total of 6.89 billion barrels of petroleum products, an average of 18.89 million barrels per day.


I can only imagine what we will consume in 2019, but at 9.6 million barrels a day we still have to import half our oil.

FastEddy23 November 1, 2014 at 10:14 am

… and that ~7 billion barrels generated more than $One Trillion Dollars in tax revenues for fed, state and local g’ments.

Whether the oil comes from Canada, the Middle East, or Africa matters not to the tax suckers. Bio-fuels so far work just fine, but the taxes remain.

Philip Branton October 31, 2014 at 11:09 am

Dear Mr Folks……..if you would…….you may want to read this article here and think.


……dare to wonder how long this information and research has been “Known”…?

…dare to wonder why the article does not tell its readers about how this can be used on top of every house in South Carolina to generate energy…..?

….dare to wonder why this stuff is NOT on the market right now…?

Mr. Folks…its not whether America’s energy independence is sustainable…its whether or not your readers realize how to reduce their monthly energy bills to ZERO …..!

Mr Folks…….what is YOUR monthly energy bill to Santee Cooper? 225.00 dollars a month…? 125.00 dollars a month…? What is Fitsnews server energy cost a month 400.00 dollars a month..?

Mr Folks …why are you NOT telling your readers to tell everyone NOT to purchase a townhome or CONDO..?

How would the State or P&C or Herald report ..that..?

Wil……….if you really want to protect your child and be a great EDITOR for your valued readers………..at some point, your going to have to come to grips with our states LACK of LOCAL energy production. You home (or trailer) is not an investment…its an energy plant…!!

Wil…..may god bless ya……

Bible Thumper October 31, 2014 at 1:12 pm

The scientist have been wrong repeatedly in their predictions about peak oil, many economist said those predictions would be wrong. But, we are going to believe they are right about Climate change. Snuggle up. Early frost Saturday.

FastEddy23 November 1, 2014 at 9:45 am

Never in history has g’ment increased oil supplies without increasing taxes.

Never in history has tax increases changed the weather.

TontoBubbaGoldstein November 1, 2014 at 11:29 am

Party at TBG’s hacienda when Climate Change’s “More [in quantity] and more powerful/destructive” hurricanes start hitting as well as when we hit “Peak Oil”.

Bible Thumper November 1, 2014 at 11:36 am

It’s always “WHEN”. Al Gore’s WHEN has already passed. I’ll never get to party at TBG’s.

erneba October 31, 2014 at 9:07 pm

“Is America’s “Energy Independence” Sustainable?”
Not with Obama as President.

nitrat October 31, 2014 at 9:42 pm

If all the fracking contaminates the fresh water supply, we won’t need to worry about any kind of gas or oil.

FastEddy23 November 1, 2014 at 10:01 am

No proofs that pumping water down an oil well contaminates the local water supplies. (My Grand Daddy and my Daddy used to “frack”ture oil wells with dynamite … Water hammer “fracturing” is far better.)

Beartrkkr October 31, 2014 at 11:57 pm

I guarantee the oil companies will sell to the highest bidder regardless. If we increase production, I doubt you’d see any real appreciable change at the pump. Just need a refinery “mishap” to get us back to $4/gallon in a matter of weeks. Lack of refinery capacity is the real culprit here.

What’s wrong with not trying to pump everything out of the ground as soon as we can. Why not use up everyone else’s black gold first.

The US is steadily increasing the exportation of oil and oil products out of the US…http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MTTEXUS2&f=M

FastEddy23 November 1, 2014 at 9:56 am

Highest bidders? Of course they will. (Only g’ment gives stuff away to the lowest bidders.)

Pump it all out? That would be foolish – no place to store it … And it would still take centuries to accomplish.

Profits from the export of oil products will generate enough tax revenue to pay off the national debt and then some. Big Five Oil already puts more revenue into the u.s. treasury than all personal income tax revenues combined.

TontoBubbaGoldstein November 1, 2014 at 11:24 am

Just need a refinery “mishap” to get us back to $4/gallon in a matter of weeks.


Big *terrorist attack* so our Petroligarchical Ruling Duopoly can get our military back to destabilizing the Middle East.

Nicely done November 3, 2014 at 9:21 pm

“Petroligarchical Ruling Duopoly”

+10 Homie, or should I say Hymie with you being Jewish?

TontoBubbaGoldstein November 1, 2014 at 11:32 am

I guarantee the oil companies will sell to the highest bidder regardless.

*whistles softly*

Dayum. You’re not afraid to make a bold prediction, Cap’n.

FastEddy23 November 1, 2014 at 10:56 am

There is no shortage, no “peak” oil or gas. North American reserves will suffice beyond 100 years for crude, 500 years for natural gas.

Any of this “progressive” Fascist propaganda about who gets to or should “manage” the supply / demand of the international oil business is just that …

Bible Thumper November 1, 2014 at 11:44 am

We had lower prices when our US production was much lower. Americans will pay prices set by the world market.
The benefits of US production:
1. Jobs
2. Reduced trade deficit.
3. Energy security. (Highly overrated)

Very little price advantage for Americans, especially with the development of export facilities for oil and LNG.

Republican Follies November 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Good God Fits Say it!

What’s needed is an immediate tax cut for the oil companies.that will solve EVERYTHING!

FastEddy23 November 1, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Well, that would be a start, fur sure. Yes, an immediate, sizable tax cut of anything would solve a lot, like unemployment of citizens, poor savings account returns, flat housing markets, loss of domestic manufacturing …


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