The global economic and political order is shaped more by geography than most people realize. Does it bother you that most of America's enemies are funded by American dollars spent to buy oil? Well an American oil boom is the leading edge of a global realignment.
Two years ago, America was importing about two thirds of its oil. Today, according to the Energy Information Administration, it imports less than half. And by 2017, investment bank Goldman Sachs predicts the US could be poised to pass Saudi Arabia and overtake Russia as the world's largest oil producer. ...
Amy Myers Jaffe of Rice University says in the next decade, new oil in the US, Canada and South America could change the center of gravity of the entire global energy supply.
"Some are now saying, in five or 10 years' time, we're a major oil-producing region, where our production is going up," she says.
The US, Jaffe says, could have 2 trillion barrels of oil waiting to be drilled. South America could hold another 2 trillion. And Canada? 2.4 trillion. That's compared to just 1.2 trillion in the Middle East and north Africa.
Glenn Reynolds says that if he ran Russia or Saudi Arabia he'd be funding American environmentalist groups in an attempt to slow down the boom -- and Glenn certainly knows that Saudi Arabia is already campaigning against "ethical oil".
This energy boom may be the most globally significant event right now, thought it will take many years to be fully realized.