Americans Should Embrace This Energy Opportunity

Morning Consult | Randall Luthi | April 27, 2018

Earlier this year, protesters descended on public meetings held throughout the country on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Draft Proposed Program for offshore leasing. The protesters’ demands for a fossil fuel-free world, and their restrictive vision for America’s energy future, may only serve to limit our nation’s potential.

The fact is that energy demands in the U.S. continue to grow and will need an “all of the above” energy approach to meet our needs. A recently released report from the U.S. Energy Information Agency predicts that, even with a significant increase of alternative energy sources, including offshore wind, fossil fuels will still supply nearly 80 percent of U.S. energy consumption in 2050.

Outside of the U.S., fossil fuels will also shoulder a 28 percent surge in energy demand from an ascending global middle class, supplying about 77 percent of global energy demand in 2050, according to a separate EIA report. Shutting the door to U.S. energy production will only open the door to foreign oil dependency.

Take the state of California for example. Despite political rhetoric, it may come as a surprise that over the last 35 years, California’s imports of foreign crude oil have increased significantly. This is a staggering surge in demand for oil that Californians have zero say in how it is produced.

Where this oil comes from may be even more surprising. In 2017, 28 percent of California’s oil imports – 98 million barrels – came from Saudi Arabia.  A back-of-the-envelope calculation, using the average annual Brent Price for oil in 2017, shows that this was about $5.3 billion worth of oil.

Read the full op-ed here.

Randall Luthi is the president of the National Ocean Industries Association.