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U.S. Can Be Energy Independent in a Decade


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U.S. Can Be Energy Independent in a Decade

The United States and Canada together have the energy resources to make America completely independent of foreign liquid fuel supplies by 2024, according to a new report commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute.

The United States is "on the cusp of energy self-sufficiency and security through reliable, affordable, and abundant supplies of domestic oil and natural gas that can sustain and empower us well into the foreseeable future," the report stated.

"In fact, the U.S. is already the global leader in oil and natural gas production and together with Canadian energy supplies could produce more than 100 percent of its liquid fuel needs by 2024."

But Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the API, cautioned: "The question before us today is whether we have the vision and wisdom to take full advantage of our vast energy resources."

The report refers to the Keystone XL pipeline, which could transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil daily from Canada and the U.S. Bakken shale formation to American refineries, but has not yet been approved by the Obama administration.

The report also points out that the number of drilling permits on federal lands declined by 36 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2012, while oil production increased 31 percent and natural gas production was up 25 percent on private and state lands.

And the wait for a federal drilling permit averaged 228 days in 2012 compared to 10 days for a state permit in North Dakota, where much of the Bakken formation is located.

According to the API, the oil and natural gas sector supports about 529,000 U.S. jobs, and the industry pays around $85 million a day to the U.S. Treasury in taxes, royalties, and other fees.

"America is experiencing an energy revival," Gerard said. "We are now defined by an abundance of energy resources, rather than a scarcity of them."

But the report observed: "To fully realize the opportunities of this new energy future, we must make the deliberate choice to take greater advantage of our oil and natural gas resources and ensure our ability to refine these resources."

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