Persuasive Essay On America's Oil Bonanza

661 Words3 Pages
America’s oil bonanza The shale-gas revolution in America has been as sudden and startling as a supertanker performing a handbrake turn. A country that once fretted about its dependence on Middle Eastern fossil fuels is now on the verge of self-sufficiency in natural gas. And the news keeps getting better. This week the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that the United States would become the world’s largest oil producer by 2020, outstripping Saudi Arabia and Russia (see article). Why has this happened? Price signals work. Oil has been costly for more than a decade. This has spurred prospectors to look harder for unconventional fuels: oil and gas that lie deep under the sea, buried in shale beds or stuck in Canada’s vast oil sands (see article). They have developed whizzy technology to…show more content…
Its landowners own the minerals below their turf, giving them a huge incentive to allow exploration (unlike Europe’s). There are a few barmy rules, such as a ban on crude-oil exports, but it can still sell the refined version. Barack Obama should approve the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Canadian oil to the Gulf of Mexico. Greens fear leakages, but overland pipes are far less risky than, say, shifting oil in trucks, and the pipe’s owners would have to pay for any clean-up. Where American energy policy is far less sensible is when it comes to the price reflecting the true cost. Tiny petrol taxes take no account of the damaging effects of pollution. This newspaper has long argued for a carbon tax to make dirty energy more expensive and thus curb demand. If that happened, some of the new oil might not be worth extracting: Canada’s heavy oil, for instance, emits about 6% more carbon dioxide than normal oil, which in turn can be 30% dirtier than gas. The biggest bonanza from all this new energy would be if the users paid the real cost of consuming oil and
Open Document