Jordan Candler / February 2, 2018

U.S. Awash in Oil Production

A great example of what can happen when lawmakers blow the cap off unnecessary regulations and allow innovation to mold the market.

A few years ago the Mercatus Center published a shortlist of “The 10 Most-Regulated Industries of 2014.” At the top of the list stood petroleum and coal products manufacturing. Also included on the index was oil and gas extraction. As the authors pointed out, “Heavy regulation reduces entrepreneurship and employment opportunities and can divert investment from the most productive uses.” Well, today we have a great example of what can happen when lawmakers blow the cap off unnecessary regulations and allow innovation to mold the market.

This week the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced a monolithic number — 10 million. That’s the current number of oil-brimmed barrels that the U.S. produces each and every day. It’s been nearly five decades — 1970 — since U.S. production reached this magnitude. According to the EIA, “U.S. crude oil production has increased significantly over the past 10 years, driven mainly by production from tighter rock formations including shale and other fine-grained rock using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to improve efficiency.”

Drilling has long been criticized by leftists, both because of its alleged detrimental effects on the environment and its supposed lack of sustainability. The evidence puts both of these narratives to rest. For starters, carbon dioxide emissions here in the states aren’t rising. That’s largely thanks to the boom in natural gas that’s being derived from fracking — another extraction procedure the Left despises. Secondly, for decades leftists have said that oil extraction can’t be maintained. Yet exploration and innovation keep proving them wrong.

All of this benefits the economy big time. U.S. imports have fallen from 12.9 million barrels a day in 2006 to just 2.5 million now. And as The Wall Street Journal notes, “This translates into greater energy security as the U.S. is less dependent on foreign oil sources.” That’s because the ban on oil exports was finally rendered null and void in 2015. As of November, 1.5 million barrels were being shipped out of the U.S. every day. So not only has innovation spurred a production bonanza, but that production is now free to be marketed outside the U.S.

Importantly, this trend is also sustainable. How so? The Journal explains: “Also striking is how quickly the oil and gas industry has recovered from the oil price plunge of 2015-2016. Previous price declines led to multiple bankruptcies and bank failures. This time drillers adapted quickly, took the rig count down fast, and cut costs. America’s flexible private capital markets helped the companies ride out the price trough, and now producers, investors and lenders are reaping the benefits of the oil price rebound to $69 a barrel.” In other words, companies now have a better idea of how to navigate fluctuating prices. This makes it harder for outside forces to trap American oil producers. Of course, that’s all assuming regulators keep their hands off this booming market.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.