Thursday, November 29, 2018

Making Oil Great Again

American oil production is continuing to rise. This is excellent news but don't overstate it as a development that allows America to ignore the Middle East.

This energy news is great. Full stop:

An infestation of dots, thousands of them, represent oil wells in the Permian basin of West Texas and a slice of New Mexico. In less than a decade, U.S. companies have drilled 114,000. Many of them would turn a profit even with crude prices as low as $30 a barrel.

OPEC’s bad dream only deepens next year, when Permian producers expect to iron out distribution snags that will add three pipelines and as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day.

But it is great in a narrow military sense.

American energy independence simply means that America could continue to function and fuel our military no matter what happens abroad in a war. Which is good. Very good. No doubt.

But as long as other countries who are our trading partners--especially in Europe and Asia--need Middle East oil we have a large interest in maintaining the flow of oil to our trading partners to avoid economic calamity at home from a collapse in trade.

Sure, our trading partners will suffer more because they rely on trade more than we do. But is that much comfort when our economy slows to a measurably less slow crawl?

And some of our foes and enemies will love much higher energy prices that fuel their malign (which is the Pentagon term of art, I believe) activities.

When you hear about American energy "independence" check the definitions section. As you should always do.

And also, no. You didn't build that. To re-use a phrase.

UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

UPDATE: And thanks to The View Through the Windshield for the link (who seems not to have individual post hyperlinks as the early pre-Blogger version of TDR lacked).