According to energy data recently released by the Department of Energy, the US produced 84.5% of the total energy consumed during the first nine months of 2013 through September. That’s America’s highest level of energy self-sufficiency since 1987 when the US produced 85.4% of total energy consumed (see chart above). Thanks to advanced drilling and extraction technologies that revolutionized domestic production of shale oil and gas starting about a decade ago, the production of energy from America’s fossil fuel sources has increased by 16.3% and helped increase the nation’s energy self-sufficiency from less than 70% in 2007 to above 84% last year. Increases in energy efficiency have reduced energy consumption by almost 4% since 2005, and that’s also helped to make America more energy self-sufficient and less reliant on foreign energy sources than any time in the last 26 years.
Bottom Line: The US has long operated with a mindset of energy scarcity and the threat of increasing dependence on OPEC and other foreign sources of energy. But the recent breakthroughs in drilling and extraction technologies (hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling) have now turned the US into an energy powerhouse. With our new bonanza of shale oil and natural gas, America has moved from “resource scarcity” into a new era of “resource abundance,” and that abundance has helped bring America’s energy self-sufficiency to a 26-year high in 2013.
Welcome to The Great American Energy Boom. Carpe oleum