The same goes for the price of virtually any commodity.
For that matter, as you wave good-bye to a deploying family member or friend … or tearfully receive home a wounded or dead service member … you can do the same thing.
Energy policy in the U.S. is wrapped in -- and tethered by -- politics that have essentially nothing to do with supplies on hand. Even our foreign policy is driven and defined by the myth of energy shortages, driving us to seek outcomes and objectives in places and countries where we don’t belong.
So many sacred cows fill the energy pasture that it would be impossible to list them all. Environmentalists claim oil and gas can’t be extracted without undue risk to clean water and pristine landscape. Populist politicians claim energy companies are making too much money. Both contrive to sustain our dependence on nations that manipulate price and supply to their advantage.
We can do better. We can do much better. In fact, with even a modicum of leadership and momentum we could be energy independent. In fact, we could become a vital, net exporter of energy once again.
The Institute for Energy Research -- an agency driven by facts rather than politics --has just released a report that blows most of the myths out of the water.
Its report shows that the United States’ combined, recoverable oil, natural gas and coal endowment is the largest on earth.
The amount of oil technically recoverable in the U.S. is more than 1.4 trillion barrels, the report pointed out. When you add Canada and Mexico, the number grows to 1.7 trillion … far more than the recoverable total for the rest of the world combined.
That North American total dwarfs the 260 billion barrels of proven reserves in Saudi Arabia and is enough to provide the needs of the United States for about 250 years.
The supply of natural gas is even more impressive. Total natural gas in North America -- about 4.2 quadrillion cubic feet --could fuel U.S. needs for 175 years at current rates, the report concluded. Again, the North American supply dwarfs the rest of the world -- more than the recoverable natural gas resources in Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan combined.
If possible, the coal reserves are even more staggering. North America has more than 497 billion short tons, the report indicated. That is three times as much as Russia, which has the world’s second largest reserve. Coal reserves in North America could power electrical needs in the U.S. for about 500 years at current consumption.
Despite all of that, we choose to live like energy paupers, allowing prices and business costs to escalate with the shots being called overseas rather than here. The same for foreign policy.
In short, we have no energy shortage. Far from it. We have a leadership shortage. Hopefully, in the near future, facts will begin to overrule politics.