The good news: By 2020 the U.S. will be the world’s largest (non-renewable) energy producer, and its dependence on imports from blood-soaked theocratic lunatic asylums will end. In fact, the Green River Formation is considered to contain, in terms just of recoverable oil, not only more than the proven reserves of all of OPEC, but three times as much as all humans have used in all recorded history. Ever. That includes all the oil burned, or just burned up or spilled into the ocean, fighting World War II, and the Korean and Viet Nam Wars as well.
The bad news: The U.S.’s place as chief customer for those asylums will be taken by China. So a report from the International Energy Agency. Of course, the Chinese will also be a larger customer of Canada, which is going to build the Keystone XL pipeline whether Dear Leader wants them to or not. They’ll just build it east-west instead of north-south. And all those tons of carbon will be released into the atmosphere from all the clean-burning Chinese power and transportation sectors. Isn’t that comforting?
As the National Post observes, reducing America’s interest in a peaceful, stable, democratic Middle East is a mixed blessing indeed. The U.S. may reduce its dependency on the Middle East, but that will emphatically not be the case for Europe. They will still be faced with shipping their money by the container ship-load to the theocratic lunatics or to Putinesque Russia. Will they step up and shoulder the burden that the U.S. has carried in the Middle East since the 1950s? Let us not hold our breaths. Will they unite to contain Russia? I don’t see how that’s possible either. The result is that Europe’s prosperity will continue to be exposed to wild swings in the political situation in an area of the world in which the U.S. will have a much diminished material interest in pouring out its own blood and treasure to enforce some reasonable level of stability.
In point of fact, as the NP points out, with China remaining America’s largest creditor for the foreseeable future, and with at least another four years of out-of-control spending just contracted for, what’s really going to be happening is that we’ll still be underwriting the theocratic thugs. We’ll just be filtering our money through Red China as the middleman in the picture, instead of having our pockets hoovered directly.
When you add it up, the figures at the bottom of the seem to spell out: (i) The U.S. will continue to be the economic engine behind the theo-kleptocrats; (ii) Without direct purchases from the, the U.S.’s direct economic interest and thus influence will diminish; (iii) If the U.S. is not to watch China re-make the region in its own image, it will still have to pour out its resources in a place where it no longer has a direct material interest and under circumstances in which we do not have available the same economic carrot/stick arrangement we’ve had for the past 50 or more years; and (iv) Europe will continue to free-ride on the American economy, while lecturing us about how we need to keep electing redistributionist socialists.
The good news from Dear Leader’s perspective is that with all that fossil fuel in the ground, it will require even greater subsidies — the IEA report cites the figure of $4.8 trillion — which means ever more Solyndras. Ever more “green businesses” to shake down for campaign cash.
What’s not to love?