The Wenatchee World

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This Afternoon

Hi81° Patchy Smoke

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In oil and gas, we’re the top

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We could use some good news this week, and here it is courtesy of The Wall Street Journal: The United States is now or soon will be the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. We’re No. 1.

The International Energy Agency estimates the United States now produces the equivalent of 22 million barrels of oil and natural gas per day, the Journal reports. Russia, the former or soon to be former No. 1, produces an estimated 21.8 million barrels per day. This, as we say in our cliché-ridden world, is a remarkable turnaround. Just seven years ago we were an energy-starved glutton stumbling along with declining fossil fuel production, rising imports, suffering from permanent dependence on unfriendly oil exporting nations, with politicians of all stripes claiming we could reach our liquid “energy independence” by subsidizing corn, burning food and fermenting grass. As they spoke, human ingenuity and the profit motive were hard at work finding ways to extract heretofore trapped oil and gas from deep shale formations. Despite environmental resistance and government reluctance, it has proven to be remarkably abundant.

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