U.S. House 2013 “Exports and the Changing global energy landscape”

[ My excerpts from the house hearing below is another “let’s export Natural Gas to our allies now that we’re energy independent”.  The driving force is not making even better friends with Europe and keeping bully Russia away (though that’s what’s said). The real reason is higher profits for private oil and gas companies.  Too bad the U.S. never nationalized oil and gas like most nations, because this is a resource we all own.  The government may have conserved and stretched it out longer than the market, which wants its profits this quarter.  And for this giant orgy of excess the market is congratulated over and over again in congressional hearings, because the orgy can continue forever since according the The Market, there can never be a shortage of anything.  The cleverness of the market aided with additional money will simply come up with more of whatever or a replacement. Which sounds a whole like a biblical myth of loaves and fishes raining out of the sky. Yes, capitalism is the most successful way ever devised of plundering the planet for a very tiny fraction of the human population as fast as possible, but do we really want to leave nothing but smoking ruins for future generations ASAP?

Highlights of the testimony:

Former Army Captain Mike Breen says that until we develop alternatives to oil for transportation, the U.S. “has no choice but to do whatever it takes in order to obtain a sufficient supply of oil”.  That means there will be war in the Middle East as long as oil exists.  Breen argues that although the U.S. could save $90 billion a year by abandoning our role of keeping the oil flowing, it would open the door to our adversaries to play that role –a much worse option.  He concludes: No matter how much domestic production picks up, the negative consequences of our single-source oil dependence are likely to persist. Our single-source dependence on oil threatens our national security. Even dramatic increases in domestic oil production will not free us from the global dynamics of this market, or relieve us of our global responsibilities.

Score card (# of times said):

  • Energy Independence. Mike Halleck (3), Fred Upton, MI (3), J. Bennet Johnston (2), Amy Jaffe (1), Eliot L. Enger, NY (1)
  • Energy Abundance: Ed Whitfield, KY (4), Bill Johnson, Bill Johnson (1)
  • Energy Dependence. Mike Breen (3)

How long with energy independence last?

  • Mike Halleck. We have been told 200 to 250 years, some say as many as 500 years.
  • J Bennett Johnston. DOE says we have 100 years of Natural Gas
  • Joe Barton, TX: We think another 500 years (Barnett shale)
  • Michael R. Turner. The U.S. EIA says we have a nearly 100-year supply of natural gas
  • Scott Lincicome. U.S. EIA predicts oil and natural gas production to stay at relatively high levels for decades. The IEA says the U.S. could be a net exporter of natural gas by 2020 and “almost self-sufficient in energy, in net terms, by 2035”, and the world’s largest oil producer by 2020 leading to North America’s emergence as a net oil exporter by 2035.

Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report ]

House 113-38. May 7, 2013. Exports and the changing global energy landscape. U.S. House of Representatives. 141 pages.

Excerpts:

Mike Breen, Executive Director Truman National Security Project & Center for National Policy.  

As a former Army Captain and an Iraq & Afghanistan combat veteran, I am also proud to be one of the leaders of Operation Free. It is a non-partisan, nationwide coalition of more than five thousand veterans who believe that our dependence on oil poses a clear national security threat to the United States. To be clear, oil is immensely important to our economy and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Its value goes far beyond its utility as a liquid fuel. Petroleum is a key input in advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, and a host of other applications. Unfortunately, however, our near-total dependence on oil as a fuel has eclipsed petroleum’s other contributions, threatening our prosperity and security.

Our dependence on oil as a single source of transportation fuel poses a clear national security threat.

As things now stand, our modern military cannot operate without access to vast quantities of it. Our economy is equally dependent, with more than 93% of our transportation sector reliant on oil.

Oil is a vital strategic commodity, a substance without which our national security and prosperity cannot be sustained. Until and unless we develop alternatives, the United States has no choice but to do whatever it takes in order to obtain a sufficient supply of oil.

Recent technological advancements, such as horizontal drilling and advanced hydraulic fracturing, are promising. They offer the chance to increase domestic production, allowing us to reach supplies of oil that were, until recently, too expensive or impossible to obtain. These advances have led some to claim that the United States is suddenly capable of producing enough oil domestically to meet our needs. They believe that this will solve our oil-related economic and national security problems.

Yet, even if U.S. oil imports dropped dramatically, geostrategic problems would persist. And though we do not always share the same oil sources as our international partners, our security is put at risk by their volatility. For instance, in December 2011, Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway that ships one-fifth of the world’s supply of oil. This resulted in global oil prices jumping 2%, exceeding $100 dollars a barrel. Words alone were able to drive up the cost of oil in markets from the Gulf to Asia.

Meanwhile, global demand for oil is rising at a breathtaking pace, with no sign of slowing down in the foreseeable future. While American demand has been very high but relatively static for some time, demand in China, India and the developing world is skyrocketing. According to the Energy Information Administration, America’s oil consumption is expected to grow by 11% over the next two decades. Meanwhile, in that same timespan, China’s oil consumption is expected to grow by 80%, and India’s by 96% (5). And by the end of the decade, China alone is expected to sell more than 30 million cars per year (6). To put that in perspective, last year about 76 million cars were sold worldwide. It is unrealistic at best to imagine that increasing production can somehow keep up with such dramatically rising demand.

Further, because the price of oil is set on a global market, it is subject to events outside of our control or influence. All of us agree that the United States should not be subjected to the whim of hostile or unstable regimes with nationalized oil assets. The U.S. currently patrols and secures the world’s most critical shipping routes. Some contend that, by producing more at home, we could relinquish many of those responsibilities. Indeed, a recent RAND study estimated that if the military were to stop defending oil supplies and sea routes from the Persian Gulf to the US , it would save between 12 to 15% of the entire defense budget–more than $90 billion dollars annually.

But imagine if we did disengage from this duty. A number of our adversaries would recognize this as an opportunity, and our allies would be faced with serious challenges. Look at the Asia-Pacific market where 85% of the oil shipped through the Strait of Hormuz today — which supplies one-fifth of all oil traded worldwide — goes toward Asia , not the United States. The oil then transits the Indian Ocean and enters the North Pacific through the Strait of Malacca, a razor-thin chokepoint constantly under threat of piracy, terrorist activity and hijacking. According to the EIA, if the Strait of Malacca was blocked, nearly half of the world’s shipping fleet would be required to reroute. Hostile actors have taken notice. According to documents seized during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda was planning to highjack and destroy oil tankers in the Straits. The documents called for Al Qaeda operatives to practice running tankers aground in shipping chokepoints, severely disrupting global commerce.

But more than the security of oil flows is at stake. The Strait, together with the surrounding South China Sea, is at the center of a complex dispute between China and a number of smaller Asian nations.

Appropriately, the U.S. has taken a strong interest in this dispute, working to prevent China from bullying its smaller neighbors and putting freedom of navigation at risk. Indeed, in 2011, China and Vietnam came dangerously close to open conflict in the South China Sea. If the U.S. pulls out of the Pacific and Indian Ocean, who will step in to fill the void? China would likely be more than willing. Few others would be capable. India could develop into a true naval power given time, but has so far shown great reluctance to step forward as a provider of regional security. Our partners in Asia, including Japan and South Korea, would risk inflaming tensions with China if they chose to step forward to secure vital sea lanes themselves. In short, an American pull-back would tempt our rivals into even greater military activity while placing our allies at risk.

No matter how much domestic production picks up, the negative consequences of our single-source oil dependence are likely to persist. Today, the Syrian resistance movement is being gunned down with bullets supplied by Putin’s oil-rich Russia. American Soldiers and Marines are confronting terrorists in Afghanistan armed with Iranian weapons, purchased with oil money. Our forward operating bases are put in danger every time a fuel convoy is attacked. In every case just mentioned, American national security is significantly threatened.

Our single-source dependence on oil threatens our national security. Even dramatic increases in domestic oil production will not free us from the global dynamics of this market, or relieve us of our global responsibilities. 

[ In response to a question about global warmings effect on national security]: We have done quite a bit of [research], as has, much more importantly, the Pentagon and the intelligence services. The consensus is that this poses a serious national security threat. The Natural Security Advisor Tom Donilon just gave a speech to that effect a couple of weeks back, saying that national security is threatened by climate. Recently the commander of our forces in the Pacific was asked what his top national security concern was, which I think is an interesting question, given that he is responsible for China, North Korea and a whole host of other issues in the Pacific, and his answer was climate. If you look at the accelerants of instability and the threats that come from this, with regard to terrorism, but also with regard to mass population migrations, terrorist recruiting, all kinds of issues, it is pretty clear that we are going to be dealing with this. And, as General Zinni likes to say, we can pay down now, and the cost will be in treasure, or we can pay down later, and the cost will be treasure and blood.

ED WHITFIELD, KENTUCKY. Today’s hearing is on U.S. energy abundance, exports and changing global energy landscape. America’s growing energy production is a game changer, and today’s hearing explores the geopolitical benefits of the U.S. becoming a world leader in energy production and exports. As we have discussed in previous hearings, America’s energy abundance is creating employment opportunities and growth at a time when little else in the economy is going as well, and that alone is enough reason to support domestic energy production. But while this energy abundance is a source of jobs at home, it can also be a force for good and competition around the world, and it is this potential that we hope to address today.

Until a few years ago most of us assumed that the U.S. was well past its peak in terms of domestic energy production and that we would become increasingly dependent on imports, particularly oil imports from OPEC nations.  Many feared the same thing was happening with natural gas, and some even worried about an emerging OPEC-like natural gas cartel dominated by Russia and Iran.

This committee held many hearings discussing the grave geopolitical consequences of global energy markets dominated by nations that do not necessarily share our values and who are not shy about using energy exports to exert leverage over other countries. But now the tables are turning, thanks to American innovations in hydraulic fracking and directional drilling that is expanding the supply of domestic oil and natural gas. Instead of being beholden to energy exporting nations, we are fast becoming one ourselves.

Perhaps nowhere is the reversal more stark than with natural gas. Debates about natural gas used to center around whether to permit facilities to import supplies of liquid natural gas from abroad to help make up for dwindling domestic production. But now these would be import terminals are being reproposed as export terminals. The reason for this reversal is that domestic natural gas production is now rising so fast that there is more than enough to meet domestic demand affordably and export the surplus to nations that need it, such as Japan and Great Britain.

I might add that the benefits of energy exports also apply to coal.

Not only should we be focused of course on natural gas and oil and coal, but we need also to focus on pipelines, port facilities, and other infrastructure investments necessary to make full use of our energy abundance.

None of this can happen if we shut the door on domestic energy production. For this reason, we need to address the fact that the Obama administration continues to keep most federal lands off-limits to energy leasing and that regulatory efforts may be underway to crack down on hydraulic fracturing.

The Obama administration’s four-year delay in making a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline project is a warning sign that the infrastructure approval process is badly broken and needs to be fixed.

The benefits of being an energy-exporting nation could also be derailed if we place unnecessary restrictions on these exports. Some argue that exports of natural gas will create domestic shortages and serious price spikes in the U.S. But, with resource assessments continuing to be revised upward and studies from the Department of Energy and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council touting the net economic benefits that are strongly positive, these fears are becoming more and more unfounded.

BILL  JOHNSON, MISSOURI. You talk about energy abundance and job creation through domestic energy production, nowhere in the Nation is that happening any more prevalently than in eastern and southeastern Ohio. We sit on top of the Marcellus and the Utica shale, and so many, many opportunities are coming our way.

Mike Halleck, President of Columbiana County board of commissioners, Ohio.  Why not pursue exportation to countries that we have open trade with. It would seem to me that not only would this stabilize prices, but give the United States a different standing in the world and make a statement of energy independence. A recent report by Secretary Chu and the energy department seemed to suggest something along this same line of thinking. Several members of Congress seem to share this same school of thought in a recent letter to Secretary Chu. It was refreshing to see the non-partisan signatures on this letter. After all, energy independence is not and should not be a partisan issue.

If the estimates, and I am sure a lot of the reports have been maybe overly optimistic, but even if they are just optimistic, they are overwhelming in terms of the supply that we would have. In fact, Senator Johnston and I were talking earlier, in my humble opinion it would seem to me that if—we were talking about flaring—if we get to the point where natural gas is too cheap, then, for lack of a better term, they would turn off the spigot. I think it not only would stabilize prices, but certainly give us a sense of energy independence.

FRED UPTON, MICHIGAN. Today’s hearing continues the subcommittee’s look into what is becoming a welcome theme: how American energy abundance is rewriting the playbooks for all levels of energy policy. This new strategy is a reality, resulting from advancements in innovation and technology, has game-changing potential for America’s energy future with more jobs, lower prices, and, yes, less volatility, as we will hear today, has far-reaching implications abroad as well. As we learned at our February hearing, U.S. energy resources are vastly abundant and growing, with technology continuing to evolve and new areas of the country becoming centers for exploration and production.

It is not just Texas, Alaska, and Louisiana anymore, but places like Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, even California who are in the process of developing or considering developing new oil and gas resources from domestic shale. This diverse geographic abundance is helping to ease the volatility of the recent past, where prices were becoming increasingly vulnerable to hurricanes and geopolitical turmoil, to create a new North American gas market that is becoming the envy of the world.

America’s natural gas movement is creating competitive opportunities domestically for manufacturing and technology, as well as international opportunities to help our allies reduce their reliance on geopolitically unstable regions of the world. And I believe that our abundance means that we can have both new jobs from a renaissance in the energy and manufacturing sectors, along with new diplomatic strength from using these resources to reinforce our ties to important allies and trading partners. Our changing energy landscape will in fact produce both economic growth and real gains.  We are in the midst of a budding success story about American prosperity, jobs, and national power. We are continuing to produce valuable energy resources safely and responsibly around the country.

JOE BARTON, TEXAS.  I don’t think it is a secret that I am a supporter of free markets and a robust American energy policy. Currently our oil and gas sector is creating about 9 million jobs a year and sending in taxes more than $30 billion to the Federal Treasury every year. We have the blessing of the Lord on our side in the United States that the latest estimates, although it is difficult to estimate, we think over 2,000 trillion feet of natural gas resides beneath our lands in the United States, 2,000 trillion feet. Because of past laws, we give the Department of Energy the right to make a decision on exports and natural gas, if it is not to a country where we already have a free trade agreement. There are currently 19 of those applications pending, one has been approved. It would be my hope that several more are approved in the near future. If you believe in free markets this is a win-win. You only make an agreement if it benefits the seller and it benefits the buyer. In this case the seller is the American economy and the jobs that are created in America. And the winner overseas is the increased economic prosperity because they get natural gas from the United States that is orders of magnitude less expensive than it is from any other supplier.

BOBBY L. RUSH, ILLINOIS.  With the technological advances in the area of energy production and the prevalence of shale oil and gas due to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, today’s hearing is both timely and very necessary. Not long ago experts predicted that the U.S. would be forced to rely on increased natural gas imports in order to meet our energy demands. However, today we are seeing a boom in domestic production of oil and natural gas due to fracking and horizontal drilling. And now we must consider whether the U.S. should become a net exporter of natural gas, and, if so, over what period of time.

Between 1990 and 2012, natural gas production in the U.S. increased by 34%, and the EIA projects that under existing policies natural gas production will rise by an additional 39% by the year 2040. In fact, in a National Journal article dated April 30th, 2013, entitled ‘‘The U.S. Has Much, Much More Gas and Oil Than We Thought,’’ it was noted that the U.S. has double the amount of oil and 3 times the amount of natural gas than previously thought stored deep under the States of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. This was according to new data that was released by the Obama administration. The article went on to note that in just the Bakken and Three Forks plays alone the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that there are 7.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas waiting to be tapped. While the EIA predicts that under existing policies U.S. Total natural gas consumption will increase from 24.4 trillion cubic feet in 2011 to 29.5 trillion cubic feet in 2040, the agency also notes that as domestic production outpaces consumption the U.S. could become a net exporter of natural gas by the year 2020. In fact, President Obama reiterated this fact personally this past weekend during the development forum in Costa Rica where he indicated that he may be close to making a decision on whether or not the U.S. should become a net exporter of natural gas.

BENNETT JOHNSTON, CHAIRMAN, JOHNSTON & ASSOCIATES.

I don’t really believe in energy scarcity. I think new supplies are pulled up all the time. They are based on technology like fracking. It wasn’t very many years ago that we had almost not heard of shale gas. George Mitchell, an old friend of mine went in with some DOE money and created that new technology, which has revolutionized America. Bakken oil and the Bakken shale has revolutionized my colleague’s home State. So I think there is not the scarcity that some talk about. I think we can be energy independent in this country, and I think it is a goal we should pursue.

I disagree with the EPA on some things, agree with them on others. Certainly we need the highest environmental standards, which I think we can, consistent with energy independence. One of the things that neither EPA nor any other agency can do is allocate resources, and that really is the heart of my point today, that government regulatory bodies just can’t allocate resources.

The Department of Energy says we have 100 years of natural gas. They say that by 2020 supply will go up by 40%, while demand will go up only 20%. The amount of natural gas seems to be growing every week. Just last week The Washington Post reported that Williston Basin has 3 times as much natural gas as they thought. They also said, by the way, that China has 50% more natural gas than the United States has. DOE commissioned a study from Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a definitive study, which indicates that we can safely export natural gas without any untoward effect on the price—no price spikes, no difficulty in terms of supply.  That  is argued against by some of the chemical companies, principally Dow Chemical, who says, if you have unfettered exports, then that is going to lead to supply disruptions, price spikes, and other difficulties. So the issue I would like to speak about today is the question of how to allocate this huge beneficence of natural gas in the United States. Is it by regulation or is it by the free market?  In my judgment, and my experience has been that the market is the best way to do that allocation.

It takes 5 to 7 years and $10 billion to $20 billion to have an [LNG] export terminal, with the trains and the ships and the gas facilities on the other end.

We had the Fuel Use Act of 1978 where they prevented natural gas from being burned under boilers, and that turned out to be a disaster, the Congress didn’t know how to allocate the highest and best use of natural gas. And just in case you think that since I left the Senate that the regulators are doing any better job, just look at electric cars. The President says we are going to have a million electric cars in a couple of years. We have got less than 100,000 now.  And how about ethanol? We are supposed to have 36 billion gallons of ethanol, over half of that cellulosic ethanol. Right now, according to their estimates, we should be having 500 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol. You know how many we have got? Less than a million gallons, less than 1/500, and the prospects are not any better.

BYRON DORGAN, Bipartisan Policy Center, former senator of North Dakota.

We add 200,000 people to the planet every single day. We added Dallas, Texas, net to the planet every week. We are headed towards 9 billion people. They are going to want to have refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners. They are going to want to drive cars as well that are going to need to stop at a fuel station once or twice a week—or let’s hope once every 2 weeks. My point is the growing demand as a result of increased population will continue.

JAMES BRADBURY, Senior Associate, Climate and Energy Program, World Resources Institute.

LNG exports will lead to an increase in domestic production of shale gas, which will have important environmental implications, including an increase in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. One major emission source is leaks from natural gas infrastructure.  Methane is the primary component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas, with a warming effect that is at least 25 times greater than carbon dioxide. These fugitive emissions represent lost product and reduced revenue for companies and governments, with negative consequences for air quality, local environment, and the climate. In 2011 methane leaks from domestic natural gas infrastructure resulted in more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the direct and indirect emissions from U.S. iron and steel, cement and aluminum manufacturing combined. These upstream emissions, along with emissions associated with the liquefaction, transport, and regasification of LNG, significantly reduce the relevant advantage that exported natural gas would have over coal or oil from a climate perspective. The bottom line is that the projected expansion of domestic oil and gas production increases the risk of higher greenhouse gas emissions.

The U.S. EPA estimated that the scale of leaked methane from global natural gas and oil systems is projected to be 10 times greater than IEA’s estimated CO2 reductions resulting from a future with more abundant natural gas.

Mr. BARTON. Mr. Halleck, as s person who is living in the real world in Ohio, what is the long-term expectation to the local economy in your area because of the Marcellus drilling activity? Is it positive, negative, short term, or is the expectation that it is going to create a stable employment base for decades to come?

Mr. HALLECK. We have been told that it is certainly 20 to 25 years. There have been some who has told us it is as much as 50 [years], but I think conservatively 20 to 25 years.

Mr. BARTON. We have the Barnett shale down in my part of Texas, and we think another 50 years. And it is not nearly as big a reserve base as the Marcellus is.

Ms. JAFFE.  As you know, we have more than a dozen LNG import facilities that were built that are going to be empty for the foreseeable future, maybe for 20 to 30 years. And obviously if the industry could forecast correctly how many facilities we need for export or import, we wouldn’t have all these bankrupt facilities now that are sitting empty for importation.

I think the point that we really warrant to focus on is that the United States has this ability, which we have never had before, sort of like the opposite of Russia being able to cut people off, right? We might have the ability to supply our allies or to supply other countries. As we become more energy independent, and I really believe the combination of our improving efficiency of automobiles, combined with deep water and combined with the shale play. And when we get to that point, we are going to have a lot of opportunities. We are going to have the opportunity to step up to the plate and be the swing producer to the global market like the United States was in the 1960s. So we will have the opportunity if we have an ally that is having an energy problem, we will have the opportunity to offer energy aid through sales of exports. And indeed we might be able to use our Strategic Petroleum Reserve more flexibly if we have an ally that has a supply disruption. So if you think about it, during Hurricane Rita and Katrina, how we got past our terrible shortages in Houston and other cities was we were able to borrow gasoline from the emergency stockpile of Europe. And we, the United States, could wind up being in a position to be able to be a key supplier. We will be able to use our energy relationships to strengthen our national power. And when we have a better trade balance it will make us stronger in the global economy, we will be able to stand up to China in a different way because we are going to be an energy exporter when they are an energy importer. They are going to have the energy dependence that we have been talking about for 30 years and we are going to be a major energy supply source.

ELIOT L. ENGEL, NEW YORK.   Several years ago I founded the Oil and National Security Caucus, and one of the reasons I have an open mind about all of this is that I think that we cannot really be free with our policies as long as we rely on foreign oil. And so anything that can ramp up production of domestic resources for energy is something that I think we should look at, albeit there are some safety concerns, there are some environmental concerns. But I think it is something that we need to look at. So I have been focused on North American energy independence, and the increase in natural gas supplies obviously are a boon to this possibility.

Ms. JAFFE. I think the one thing you need to bear in mind, because of course markets change, and I know there is a concern, first people are telling us we don’t have enough resource and then suddenly we have this hugely abundant supply. I think the point is that nothing is irreversible. So we can allow LNG exports, they can bring a benefit to our trade balance and our international stature. And if some later date 30 years from now or 20 years from now we find that that policy no longer fits we might have different circumstances, we can revisit it. I don’t see that it is necessarily going to be a threat to our energy security.  There is a lot of opinion about how much resource we have. I do believe that the resource is so extensive that we probably could export a substantial amount from several terminals and have it actually not affect prices all that much except maybe occasionally seasonally.

 

 

Michael R. Turner.  Helping our allies diversify their energy resources is important to strengthening our strategic partnerships and bolstering security, That is why I authored H.R. 580, the Expedited LNG for American Allies Act, which seeks to help bolster our alliances, reduce the trade deficit and boost job growth right here at home. Specifically, the bill streamlines the regulatory process to export natural gas to NATO countries, Japan and possibly others.

Over the last several years, exploration and development of U.S. natural gas, particularly shale gas has increased significantly. The United States is one the largest producers of natural gas in the world, and according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), has nearly a 100-year supply. In fact, last week, the Department of the Interior announced that there is three times the amount of shale gas in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana than previously estimated.

Submitted to the record: Scott Lincicome, “License to Dril: the Case for modernizing America’s Crude oil and natural gas export licensing systems (Herbert A. Stiefel center for trade policy studies, Free Trade Bulletin #50, February 21, 2013

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, domestic production of crude oil and natural gas has skyrocketed in recent years and is projected to stay at relatively high levels for decades, even assuming existing state and federal restrictions on production and transport.   According to a November 2012 report by the International Energy Agency, the United States could become a net exporter of natural gas by 2020 and will be “almost self-sufficient in energy, in net terms, by 2035” (IEA a).  That same report estimates that the United States will become the world’s largest oil producer by around 2020, causing North America to emerge as a net oil exporter by 2035 (IEA b)

IEA a. November 12, 2012. North America Leads Shift in Global Energy Balance, IEA says in latest world energy outlook. Press release

IEA b. November 12. “World Energy Outlook 2012 Executive Summary”. International Energy Agency.

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