Oil-and-gas boom pushes U.S. trade deficit to a four-year low; EIA revises production forecasts upward

And we don’t want more of this, because… why? From the Financial Times:

America’s domestic energy revolution helped drive a decline in the US trade deficit to its lowest level in four years, bolstering calls in Washington for the Obama administration to relax decades-old restrictions on the export of crude oil.

The improvement in America’s monthly trade gap – to $34.3bn in November from $39.3bn in October – prompted some economists to increase fourth-quarter US growth estimates, reinforcing confidence in the country’s economic recovery.

The government’s Energy Information Administration predicted on Tuesday that the US oil boom would continue, driven by rising production of shale oil unlocked by advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”.

The EIA forecast that in 2015 US oil output could approach its record high of 9.6m barrels per day, reached in 1970.

It was President Obama who set the goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015 as a means of contributing to economic growth, but the progress the U.S. has made so far is largely thanks to the hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling methods about which his administration has been lukewarm at best (they would much rather talk about the comparatively piddling economic gains made be their preferred clean energy forms, you see, and let the oil-and-gas revolution spurring their otherwise lackluster economy along just fly beneath the radar).

Our increasingly abundant supply is straining both our available shipping networks and our refining capacity, and if we don’t do something about it (i.e., finally get rid of the crude-oil export ban that’s been lingering like an economic cancer since it was first adopted in the 1970s), we’re looking at a glut that will disallow Americans and energy companies from fully capitalizing on our new technological reality — at the expense of economic growth and job creation.