The New Era of American Energy Dominance

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The New Era of American Energy Dominance

Almost overnight, the United States has abandoned the idea that, “we can’t drill our way to energy independence.”  That’s been replaced by a quest for uncompromising, “U.S. Energy Dominance.”  To get there, the current administration is implementing policies in six crucial areas:

  1. Taking full advantageof America’s unparalleled abundance of oil, natural gas and coal;
  2. Increasing exports of those three fossil fuels, as well as high-value refined products;
  3. Replacing any remaining imports from the unstable nations of the Middle East and North Africa;
  4. Working with Canada, Mexico and other pro-American Western Hemisphere energy producers to create higher standards of living for all;
  5. Accelerating development of a whole new generation of safe, clean, reliable, small-scale, nuclear technology, which can provide most of the world’s energy beyond 2060; and
  6. Leveraging various combinations of those initiatives to advance U.S. bargaining positions across a broad range of foreign policy and trade situations.

This trend toward assertively harnessing America’s energy advantageis not just about one industry. Because energy represents an indispensable component of almost every economic activity, gaining maximum control of the world’s energy resources translates into leveragein nearly every economic sphere.  Consider the lessons of history: Each Techno-Economic Revolution that has successively raised our standard of living in huge quantum leaps has depended on more effective creation and control of energy to do the work of mankind.  And, that’s why the world’s most impoverished people, in South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa, suffer the common plight of “energy poverty;” this is typically manifested in little or no access to affordable electricity.

In our January and February 2017 issues, the Trends Editors explained how the North American Energy Revolution has totally reshuffled the deck of cards under which globalization emerged over the past four decades.  Just as the “1973 Arab oil embargo” ended the era of cheap conventional energy, the “OPEC price war” that began in 2014 ended the era of expensive fossil fuels.   And, more importantly, breakthroughs in fracking have left the United States with “all the good cards.”

But strategic success does not depend simply on having an opportunity, one must seize the opportunity and turn it into a sustainable competitive advantage.  Trump undoubtedly remembers Shakespeare’s admonition, “There is a tide in the affairs of men...

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