In the black days following the obama administration's inaugural revels, some good news is always welcome. And the WSJ has just furnished us with some good news, indeed.
The news concerns the growth of American oil production. Last year, it increased by the largest amount since we started domestic production back in 1859. In fact, production was up by nearly 780,000 barrels per day (bpd), making our average production the highest in 15 years at 6.4 million bpd.
The result is that our total net oil imports dropped by almost 7%, which is also a 15-year low. And Valero Energy has announced that it will expand its refining facilities in Texas to refine the new product -- the first expansion of refining in years.
This is in addition to our record-high natural gas production, reflected in its record low prices.
The additional good news is that next year will be even better -- the projection is for an increase in oil production of 900,000 bpd. In fact, Exxon-Mobil -- one of the heroes of the story -- now projects that our energy production soaring together with Canada's soaring as well will make North America energy-independent in 12 years.
Who should be given credit for this explosion of production? In his re-election campaign, obama boasted that it was his administration that made this possible. However, of all the outrageous lies he has told, this has got to be the biggest.
The primary reason for the explosive growth of North American fossil fuel production is the innovation in extraction technology -- not big government. In the U.S., the technological innovation is twofold: fracking -- i.e., hydraulic fracturing of shale rock to release its treasures of natural gas and petroleum. (In the case of Canada, it is due to their new techniques for extracting oil from their immense tar-sands formation.)