Tag Archives: Global Trends

Global Trends 2030: Futurology Fit for a President? (Part 2 Energy Constraints)

This is my second post on the  National Intelligence Council (NIC) briefing for the  U.S. president called “Global Trends“, a report that looks at potential risks to the United States 20 years ahead. The first post (here) dealt with climate change, but in this post I want to take a look at how the Intelligence Community views the potential threat of a future energy constraint on the U.S. and world economy.

The quick answer: not much of a threat at all.

In a likely tectonic shift, the United States could become energy-independent. The US has regained its position as the world’s largest natural gas producer and expanded the life of its reserves from 30 to 100 years due to hydraulic fracturing technology.
The one-hundred-years-of-gas refrain was also a feature of President Obama’s State of the Union address back in January 2012. I blogged about the authenticity of the claim then. Enough to say that both the President and the NIC appear to be confusing resources with reserves. The industry association Naturalgas.org has a good explanation of the difference here, including the following  component chart (click for larger image):
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Total Oil & Gas Resource Base copy