Increasing Domestic Oil Production
April 1, 2011
For America, there is a way to greatly minimize, if not fully end, our dependence upon shaky Middle East dictatorships for oil. With dependable Canadian production and using our own shut-in resources, we can vastly reduce our need for imports. This should be a vital, immediate national interest, says Jon Basil Utley, associate publisher of the American Conservative.
- America imports some 10 million barrels per day (bpd).
- Of this, Canada sends us two million bpd and Mexico sends about one million bpd.
- Nigeria, Angola and Venezuela send another 1.5 million bpd, all of which is pretty reliable.
- That comes to around 4.5 million bpd, which means that there is 5.5 million bpd coming from less-reliable sources, including the Middle East.
Here are six things the federal government could do to increase domestic oil production, says Utley.
- The Alaska pipeline now runs two-thirds empty -- it alone could carry 1.5 million barrels more per day if drilling were allowed.
- The Gulf of Mexico could be producing another half million barrels per day within five years if permitting were expedited by the Department of the Interior.
- A crash program to provide abundant LNG (liquid natural gas -- compressed to reduce its volume by a factor of 600) pumps at major interstate truck stops would encourage conversions from using diesel oil, which is imported.
- Modern oil production allows drilling horizontally miles and miles out in all directions from a single platform;reasonable permissions for drilling off our Atlantic and Pacific coasts could produce billions more barrels of oil.
- Allowing building of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada's massive tar sands would bring in another half million barrels per day as production ramps up.
- Congress needs to correct the Environmental Protection Agency's rules to force it to make decisions within 30 days and to use rational measurements instead of a few parts per million as grounds for declaring any product hazardous and illegal.
Source: Jon Basil Utley, "The Case for Increasing Domestic Oil Production," Reason Magazine, March 23, 2011.
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