Stephen Moore, an economist with the Heritage Foundation, wrote an op-ed with the intriguing title, “Goodbye, OPEC.” He argued that America was not only on the way to becoming energy independent but was also headed towards becoming energy dominant.
What a change this is from just a few decades ago. I grew up with environmentalists warning that we were running out of food and energy. They were predicting future famines and a major energy crisis. It was nearly impossible to imagine any way this country would be on its way to energy independence.
Stephen Moore was on my radio program to explain this remarkable turnaround. Much of it is due to the American oil shale boom which has significantly changed drilling operations in the Permian Basin in Texas and the Bakken Shale in North Dakota.
As America gets closer to becoming a net exporter of oil, that will have the positive effect of reducing our trade deficit. Obviously, Saudi Arabia is still a player in the oil business, but most of OPEC is fading away. Oil is now listing at $70 a barrel. As the price increases, that can also help the economy.
Of course, politics is another reason why America is moving toward energy independence and even energy dominance. The previous president wanted to restrict oil exploration and fossil fuel development. The current president has a different attitude. Some have called the oil shale boom “Donald Trump’s Revenge.” The president has been willing to free up lands in places like Alaska and has allowed permits for new pipelines. There is even talk in Congress about using royalty and lease payments from drilling on federal lands to reduce the current budget deficit.
All of these changes in energy policy and energy production are reasons that it may finally be time to say goodbye to OPEC.