Ortiz: Iran Conflict and Its Aftermath — What a Difference Energy Independence Makes

Pump jacks are seen at dawn in an oil field over the Monterey Shale formation where gas and oil extraction using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is on the verge of a boom on March 24, 2014 near Lost Hills, California. Critics of fracking in California cite concerns over water usage …
David McNew/Getty Images

Alfredo Ortiz of Job Creators Network writes in FOXBusiness that owing to the policies of the Trump administration leading the nation to energy independence, turmoil in the Middle East no longer threatens the U.S. energy supply: 

One U.S. attribute that distinguishes the current Middle East conflict from past ones is the country’s energy independence. Last September, U.S. petroleum product exports exceeded imports for the first time in recorded history. The Energy Information Agency expects net exports of total crude oil and petroleum to average 570,000 barrels per day in 2020.

Energy independence means that the U.S. has no vital economic interests in the Middle East — a marked change from past conflicts where the country was dependent on a steady flow of Mideast oil to lubricate the domestic economy. This energy security gives the Trump administration more leeway in its foreign policy approach. “We are independent, and we do not need Middle East oil,” said President Trump in remarks to the nation on Wednesday.

In the aftermath of the U.S. killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the price of oil has only increased by a few percent. Contrast this to past conflicts such as the Iraq wars and the Arab oil embargo of 1973, when the oil price skyrocketed. Turmoil in the Middle East no longer threatens the U.S. energy supply. The U.S. now produces and consumes about 20 million barrels of petroleum products a day. Crude oil production has more than doubled over the last decade as the American fracking revolution and good government policy have combined to create countless gushers. The U.S. is now the world’s biggest oil producer. Net petroleum imports have fallen from 10 million barrels a day in 2010 — about 50 percent of consumption — to zero.

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