According to President Obama, America has crossed the line. His hope, and one I think we can all agree with, is that we never, ever cross back over this line again.
At the intersection of energy independence
This past month we imported less oil than we're producing here at home. It's the first time we've crossed back over this line in more than two decades. The following chart shows that as U.S. oil production has hit a 24-year high, it's being met with falling crude oil imports, which are at a 17 year low.
We have America's energy boom to thank for increased production. Companies like Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) and EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG) are producing more oil than we ever dreamed of from tight shale resources.
Continental Resources has used the combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to unlock the vast oil resources of North Dakota's Bakken Shale. Since 2009, the company has more than doubled its annual oil production. It sees a bright future for America as it continues to champion American oil independence. It plans to do its part by tripling its production by 2017. Not only does it plan to lead the development of North Dakota's resources, but it's not stopping there as its now investing to push Oklahoma's oil production higher as well.
EOG Resources, likewise has helped fuel America's oil boom. The company was early in unlocking the vast resources of Texas' Eagle Ford Shale. It has grown oil production by a compound annual rate of 38% over the past six years. It expects to continue growing oil production in the future, with expectations of delivering best-in-class crude oil growth through 2017.
These and other American oil companies have unlocked more American oil than we ever dreamed possible. President Obama called our booming oil and gas production a "big deal" and that it is "a tremendous step toward American energy independence." It is, however, just part of America's energy story.
At the intersection of the economy and environment
Thanks to companies like Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) American natural gas production is also booming. That is having a very distinct effect on our economy and the environment. First, cheap natural gas is increasingly replacing dirtier coal to generate power. Further, because natural gas is cheap, it's saving people money on their energy bills. The only real loser here has been Chesapeake Energy, which has seen its profits fall as a result of lower energy prices.
Overall, carbon dioxide emissions are falling. Because natural gas is a cleaner burning fossil fuel it's having a real impact on reducing our emissions. Overall, emissions are at levels not seen since 1994. This is a trend not lost on The President. He noted that, "between more clean energy and less energy waste, our emissions of dangerous carbon pollution are actually falling."
While we all have our own political leanings, this is a trend that all Americans should be proud to see happen. It's time that we too "cross the line" of political divisiveness and do our part to achieve the worthy goal of energy independence by at the very least focusing on ways we can waste less energy.
We tend to see the bad in our world, but there are good things happening that we can easily overlook. America's energy boom when combined with a focus on efficiency has helped the country really turn the corner. As the President put it, "this is good news for anyone who cares about the world we leave to our kids." In America, we live in a land were anything is possible, even being energy independent while also being good stewards of our environment.
Learn more about America's energy boom