Why NAFTA Could Replace OPEC as Global Energy Purveyor Within Short Order

September 16th, 2013 | by Morris Beschloss | Comments


After thorough analyses of the expected world’s population growth by mid-century, and the attendant outburst of a vast middle class population demanding modern housing structures, automobiles, and discretionary personal and household objects by a majority of nine billion (now seven billion global occupants), it’s painfully obvious that today’s energy demand of 120 quadrillion BTU’s will more than double by 2050, according to conservative estimates.

1) The most intense population expansions today are taking place in Southeast Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East. Simultaneously, only the U.S. is generating a moderate replacement population, while Central and Western Europe, once the dominant centerpiece of modern civilized advancement, are now facing certain shrinkage of their traditional Caucasian populations.

2) While the current mix of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), supplemented by a modest renewables growth (solar, geothermal, bio-diesel, wind) could not begin to suffice the energy demands of the upcoming mid-century output, the meteoric rise of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Authority) could fill the bill, if today’s “climatically controlled purism” is replaced by a realistic regional North American leadership. Such an outlook has been immensely facilitated by Mexico’s dynamic young president Federico Nieto, and Canada’s highly respected Prime Minister Steven Harper. If America’s Administration leadership were to follow their example, the U.S./Canada/Mexico axis will have arrived as the facilitator of today’s still inadequate energy development focus.

3) It’s estimated that the combined hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of oil in the U.S. alone on private and federal lands would far outdistance the uncertified 260 billion barrel reserve claimed by Saudi Arabia. If considering all of OPEC, primarily comprised of the Islamic Mideast and Northern Africa, this today avails the world less than 40% of the 90 million current daily barrels demand. China is now the world’s prime energy consumer, with India due to take second place, and the U.S. in third by 2020, at the present rate.

4) While “fracking” is not necessarily confined to the U.S., America’s combination of technological superiority, infrastructure, rail and truck transportation facilitate the development of almost unending shale finds far more expeditiously than similar attempts in the U.K., China, and others, which have proven costly and unsuccessful.

To put America’s revenue generating and employment producing potential into perspective, one has only to view North Dakota’s breakthrough. This once lagging 600,000 population farm state is now generating one million oil barrels a day, with its Bakken Belt shale development short of employees, housing, but swimming in cash. This is allowing a new infrastructure in education and technology, placing North Dakota into a top sphere, economically.

California, according to a study completed by the University of Southern California, could count on $75 billion and a 200,000 construction worker hike in the next five years, once the “go-ahead” is given by the state’s “progressive politicians.” The Golden State’s Monterey Shale, largest in the nation, is waiting to be serviced. But the state’s “California Air Resources Board” and the Sierra Club extremists’ position stand in the way, for now.

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