But what if the boom is just a bubble?
The majority of U.S. policymakers and the media have bought into a vision of American “energy dominance” thanks to strong growth in oil and gas production through the widespread use of “fracking” (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing of shale rock formations).
This “shale revolution,” we’re told, will fundamentally change the U.S. energy picture for decades to come—leading to energy independence, a rebirth of U.S. manufacturing, and a surplus supply of both oil and natural gas that can be exported to allies around the world. This promise of oil and natural gas abundance is influencing climate policy, foreign policy, and investments in alternative energy sources.
The primary source for these rosy expectations of future production is the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), which publishes every year an Annual Energy Outlook that projects energy production and prices for decades to come.
But what if the EIA’s forecasts are wrong?