The world has changed. For US energy, that’s a good thing.Forty years after the first Arab oil embargo exposed the risks of dependence on foreign oil, the US has made adjustments to reduce its vulnerability to short-term supply disruptions. Here are three of the biggest changes: Energy boom: New drilling techniques are coaxing vast amounts of fossil fuels from stubborn shale rock formations in Texas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. The US is producing so much natural gas that it’s beginning to export it.
So you think President Barack Obama’s calls for energy independence have seemed a bit starry-eyed? Well, every U.S. president since Richard Nixon has publicly called for the country to become self-sufficient. Why? Because of oil. Specifically, oil imported from Middle Eastern nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The ongoing chorus stems from a shocking event in October 1973 that remains large in the mind of anyone who was alive then: the Arab Oil Embargo. Yet America may only now be heeding the embargo’s lesson. The U.S. still gets about the same amount of energy from oil as it did 40 years ago, but imported crude may finally be doomed because of a steep increase in domestic production of oil and natural gas, courtesy of hydraulic fracturing. Yes, fracking.