Markey: Increased Fuel Efficiency, Renewables Production the Future of U.S. Energy System

Latest DOE findings undermine G.O.P. 'Drill Baby Drill' strategy, underscore Congressman’s call to limit natural gas exports
Washington (January 24, 2012) – The Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new projections and modeling results this week regarding the U.S. energy system going out to 2035. The report shows the United States is making important headway in reducing dependence on foreign oil and increasing renewable energy use, but it also highlights the need to be prudent about newly discovered natural gas resources, said Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass), top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee and senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
The fuel economy standards I co-authored along with measures to promote biofuels development that were contained in the 2007 Energy Bill are having a profoundly positive effect on reducing our reliance on foreign oil,” said Rep. Markey. “These measures have shifted the projection that U.S. reliance on foreign oil will drop from the high of 60 percent under the Bush Administration to 36 percent by 2035.”      
The EIA report also finds that the increase in domestic oil production that has occurred under the Obama administration will continue into the future. U.S. crude oil production increased from 5.1 million barrels per day in 2007 to 5.5 million barrels per day in 2010, the highest levels seen in nearly a decade. Over the next ten years, continued development of tight oil supplies in the Dakotas and elsewhere, in combination with the ongoing development of offshore resources in the Gulf of Mexico, will increase domestic crude oil production to 6.7 million barrels per day in 2020. These would be the highest domestic production levels since 1994.
This report shows the inherent inability of the Republican’s ‘Drill Baby Drill’ energy strategy to actually deliver on its promise of lower energy prices for consumers,” said Rep. Markey. “While this report projects that U.S. oil production will increase every single year through 2020, the price of oil is projected to increase every single year as well. While American consumers need efficient vehicles and alternatives to oil, all Republicans offer are taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil and misleading bumper sticker slogans.”
Under President Obama, domestic oil production is higher than it has been in nearly a decade and is projected to grow another 22% this decade. The U.S. is also drilling more natural gas than it ever has before and production is expected to grow another 21% by 2035.
The EIA report also found:

  • The United States will become a net natural gas exporter in 2016 if companies are permitted to ship U.S. supplies to foreign countries. A separate EIA report released last week found that if the U.S. exports 18% of its domestic natural gas consumption—the amount companies have already applied to the Department of Energy to export—then domestic natural gas prices could increase more than 50%.
  • Technically recoverable U.S. shale gas resources were 42% lower than they were believed to be last year, a development that further underscores the need to re-think whether exporting American natural gas is in the public interest.
  • Energy produced from renewable sources is in the U.S. is now seven percent greater than energy produced from nuclear power. By 2035, renewables will produce 66% more energy than nuclear power.
  • Over the next 25 years, the projected coal share of overall electricity generation falls to 39%, well below the 49% share seen as recently as 2007.

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