And the brightening energy outlook isn’t confined to the three states mentioned so far. Improved exploration and production technologies have shown that states such as Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, West Virginia and Louisiana are now sitting on much larger oil and natural-gas reserves than previously thought.
In some states, the governments are enthusiastically supporting these efforts. Elsewhere, and parts of Washington, they are blocking it.
Think of the economic potential. According to a recent study by the energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, allowing access to domestic resources and imports of Canadian oil would generate more than 1 million jobs by 2018 and more than 1.4 million jobs by 2030. The federal government would stand to benefit tremendously as well, collecting more than $36 billion in tax revenue as soon as 2015 and more than $800 billion by 2030.
For far too long, “drilling for oil” has been something that Americans think of as occurring only in the Middle East, the Gulf of Mexico and in select parts of Alaska. The good news, though, is that it appears we’ve barely tapped our energy potential. The answer to many of our needs, it turns out -- both for energy and for economic recovery -- may be right under our feet. So let’s get going!