Jonah Goldberg

All around the world, governments are expanding their oil and gas operations. In Russia, oil output keeps going up. Brazil is racing to expand offshore drilling. Mexico recently announced another huge oil field it won't hesitate to develop. Experts are predicting a South Atlantic oil boom to rival the North Sea craze of the 1980s.

Meanwhile, thanks to technological advances, the International Energy Agency predicts the U.S. will be the world's largest oil producer by 2017 and a net exporter by 2030. And again, Greens, who've insisted for years that we need to wean ourselves off of foreign oil, aren't cheered by the news. They're ticked off that they lost another convenient talking point.

While it's true that President Obama brags about how oil and gas production are up, his policies have nothing to do with it. A new report from the Congressional Research Service confirms: "All of the increased [oil] production from 2007 to 2012 took place on non-federal lands." Since 2010, federal oil production is down 23 percent.

To what end? As global-warming activists will be the first to admit, global warming is global. Whatever CO2 we've declined to pump into the atmosphere has been more than replaced by emissions from growing economies in Asia. We could cut our emissions to nothing, and in a few years the increase in China's emissions alone would replace them.

You know what else are global? Oil and gas markets. Whatever oil we've denied ourselves has been made up for by development in other countries. All that we've done is make oil prices higher than they needed to be and denied ourselves billions of dollars that would have stayed here rather than go to the Middle East. No country, save the U.S., seems at all interested in denying itself or the world much-needed economic growth by letting oil and gas sit in the ground.

In other words, when you've lost Canada, you've lost the argument.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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