IER: U.S. Oil and Gas Production is the Answer to Economic Security and a Greener Future
Efforts to restrict oil and gas production in the United States could “yield perverse impacts on the global environment,” according to a recent Institute for Energy Research report by the Institute for Energy Research (IER). Specifically, researchers found evidence that U.S. production combined with above average environmental standards disproportionately reduces the environmental harms of oil and gas on a global scale. From the report:
“The results show that purely as a matter of environmental protection, replacing U.S. domestic production with foreign supply would be an overwhelmingly negative tradeoff.”
Using the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), the report examines top oil and gas producing countries by measuring performance indicators such as climate change performance and environmental health. Here are a few key findings:
- The average barrel of petroleum produced outside of the United States is produced by a country that scores 23.6 percent lower than the United States for environmental performance. That’s because the United States has an EPI of 51.1, while the other 20 largest oil producers’ average score is 39.
- Similarly, natural gas produced outside of the United States is produced by a country that scores 24.5 percent lower than the United States on average for environmental performance. The 20 largest natural gas producers in the world average an EPI score of 38.6 compared to a U.S. score of 51.1.
As IER explains:
“U.S. production of crude oil and natural gas has increased over the last 40 years, while at the same time pollution and emissions have steadily declined across sources…With both comparably low and declining emissions in the United States, it is hard to make the argument that domestic production should be abandoned in favor of production in places with far lower Environmental Performance Index scores.”
As a leading oil and natural gas producer, the United States is in a unique position to enhance energy security and improve environmental performance for consumers worldwide. Efforts to block domestic production through lease cancellations, slow walking the permitting process, or filing lawsuits would only limit our nation’s progress so far. Furthermore, relying on foreign countries as a substitute for America’s high quality energy resources are not ideal due to potential corruption and lack of environmental oversight.
Bottom Line: It is far better for the environment and the global economy if energy demand is met by production in countries like the United States. With a proven track record of supplying nations with natural gas while promoting global energy security, it’s evident that U.S. oil and natural gas is the solution to a richer, more sustainable future.
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