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November 2013 Policy Study, Number 13-7


America Needs America's Energy


Executive Summary



America’s energy future is in our hands. We can no longer wait for the government to rally us. History has shown this will not happen.


Energy security is based on an energy plan in which we all conserve – but also determine how we will obtain more oil and gas, or wind power, or solar power, or any of the other alternative sources now becoming available – to meet the demand.


Energy security ensures we have the reliable energy sources to meet our needs that are available within our own country. The energy dependence we suffer today costs us economically in the form of high prices and lost jobs.


Egypt is not a major producer or supplier of oil, but it is a major “chokepoint” in the Middle East when factoring in potential disruptions. In the long term, beginning soon with a national energy strategy, we should step up our own natural resource development efforts especially in the oil and natural gas shale plays.


The commitment to energy development should lead us to energy security. Therefore, we would be less concerned over time about oil disruptions in other regions throughout the world.


Hydraulic fracturing has been in commercial use since the 1940s. It was used up until the late 1990s primarily for drilling conventional oil and gas wells. Since that time, hydraulic fracturing together with horizontal drilling has come to the forefront.


According to industry estimates, hydraulic fracturing has been applied to more than one million wells nationally since the 40s. Though there is an overall safe track record regarding the use of hydraulic fracturing, there are environmental concerns which the industry faces and must continue to address.


Hydrogen can be extracted from the ocean by running an electric current through the water, but this process — known as electrolysis — requires enormous quantities of electricity. More importantly, hydrogen can be produced from natural gas (CH4).


The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized more than $2 billion for a hydrogen fuel cell program by 2020, along with loan guarantees for nuclear power plants, clean coal technology, and wind energy.


Interesting to note is that hydrogen today is used to power commercial buses, and hydrogen is used in many commercial applications from welding metal, to dying fabrics, to making electronic plastics and fertilizers. How fast we will move towards the hydrogen economy is yet to be seen.


From Nixon to Obama, we have been told time and again that an energy policy is in the works and a national energy plan is on the way. It is my belief that as consumers of energy, we must drive the process, evaluating how we can best leverage our natural resources here at home to ensure long-term energy independence and security.


America Needs America’s Energy! Together we can create America’s Energy Plan!




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