Hey, remember that one time — er, actually, those many times over the past four or five decades — that eco-“experts” were predicting that we were all teetering on the brink of a “peak oil” crisis, the likes of which would throw the entire world into a state of perpetual famine and war over sating our gluttonous demand for the planet’s ever-shrinking oil reserves?
As entertaining as that particular brand of determined Malthusian fear-mongering can be, we have somehow managed to sail right on past all of the proffered deadlines for those imagined doomsday scenarios. Indeed, largely thanks to innovations in hydraulic fracturing revolution, the U.S. is already flirting with its own record high for crude-oil production, and 2013 marks the biggest acceleration in that oil output we’ve ever had, via Fuel Fix:
The United States’ average daily oil production is on track to surge by 1 million barrels per day this year, the biggest one-year jump in the nation’s history, according to federal data.
The country has pumped an average of 7.5 million barrels of crude per day in 2013, up from 6.5 million barrels per day in 2012. That breaks last year’s record, when oil production jumped by 837,000 barrels per day between 2011 and 2012.
And this is after oil production declined in 29 of the 40 years between 1971 and 2011. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: President Obama is the very fortunate and incidental beneficiary of technological innovation and a subsequent oil-and-gas boom, on lands the federal government doesn’t control, and that have helped out quite a bit with an otherwise lackluster rate of economic and job growth. All of that means that 2014 is going to a big year for issues concerning all manner of oil-and-gas exports as well as renewed pushes for further offshore drilling and more drilling on federal lands, as energy companies and states all look to cash in further on one of the biggest economic boons of the day.