The federal government says U.S. domestic oil production has increased since 2007. Why do we need even more drilling?
While it is true that domestic oil and natural gas production has increased since 2007, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that the world’s demand for energy will increase by nearly 50 percent by 2035―with oil and natural gas expected to supply 52 percent of that energy.
Finding and producing oil and natural gas will remain critical to the global economy in the decades ahead.
It takes anywhere from seven to ten years for new oil and natural gas projects to come online. Current production levels are possible because of the policies and lease sales that were implemented years ago. In addition, a vast majority of U.S. federal lands are currently off limits to energy production.
With permits declining onshore and offshore on federal lands, it is likely that U.S. production numbers will decrease in the coming years. Federal lands leasing acreage is at its lowest point since 2001 and has decreased from 47 million acres in 2008 to 38 million acres in 2011.
Increasing domestic energy production would be a boon for our economy. A recent study found that increasing access to U.S. resources would create more than a million jobs and billions in local, state and government revenue. That is probably why 70 percent of American voters support increasing domestic oil and natural gas production.
In order to meet future demand and improve our energy security, we are going to need to do more to access our domestic resources onshore and offshore.
The choice is clear:
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