The United States has been the world’s #1 producer of natural gas for eight years now, and of oil for three—realities that are only slowly dawning on the broad public that still tends to think in terms of the olden days when Russia dominated the former and Saudi Arabia the latter.
The result? Lower prices for Americans, yes. But also for people around the world.
And less income for nasty regimes like the Saudis’ Islamic fundamentalists (women can’t drive or vote, thieves’ hands are cut off, lots of oil revenue goes to jihadists) and Russia’s former KGB Lt.-Col. Vladimir Putin (assassination of journalists who don’t toe the line, invasion of Kuwait, support of Syrian butcher Assad). Dwindling revenues not only because of falling prices but also because of shrinking market share to the mostly bad-boy members of OPEC is good news.
Wall Street Journal tells the amazing story of how America took the lead in natural gas and oil in an editorial that begins: “Sometimes politics changes so rapidly that few seem to notice. Remember the “energy independence” preoccupation of not so long ago? The U.S. is now emerging as the world’s energy superpower and U.S. oil and gas exports are rebalancing global markets.”
So far so good. The one really surprising thing, granted the source, is the next sentence: “More remarkable still, this dominance was achieved by private U.S. investment, innovation and trade—not Washington central planning.”
What would really have been remarkable is if “Washington central planning” had managed to bring about such salutary results. A minor faux pas, one assumes, for the Journal.
Nonetheless, good news for America, good news for the world. Increasingly free market-oriented policies liberated American ingenuity and investment for this grand achievement.