1. Thanks largely to the recent significant increases in the domestic production of fossil fuel energy (oil and natural gas), the U.S. was more energy self-sufficient in 2012 than at any time in the last two decades. Based on data for the first nine months of 2012, the U.S. last year produced more than 83% of the energy it consumed for the first time since 1991 (see chart above).
2. From the article “Economics of the Bakken Oil Boom: What the Rest of the Nation is Missing,” in today’s Canada Free Press:
The Bakken development in North Dakota should be an example for the nation, indicating what could be accomplished with the right energy policies to decrease unemployment, raise government revenues, increase per capita income, decrease poverty, and help produce the nation’s major energy source.
So far, the hydraulic fracturing revolution that has created these positive economic developments is largely confined to production on private and state lands, due to governmental policies reducing opportunities on federal lands and a punitive federal regulatory environment. Even though there are massive shale oil and oil shale resources on federal lands, federal policies are choking off any production increases. Here’s one illustrious example: it takes the federal government 307 days to process a permit to drill, but it only takes North Dakota 10 days (see chart below).