The biggest shale oil field in the United States was just confirmed in the Permian Basin, called the Wolfcamp Formation. The field is said to contain 75 billion barrels of oil and vast amounts of natural gas. It is three times the amount of the Bakken field in North Dakota and second only to Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar field.

One of the unexpected developments of the Obama era has been the fracking boom, which has allowed America to access up until now inaccessible reserves of oil and natural gas, driving down the cost of fossil fuels, weaning the country away from dependence on foreign sources, many of them in volatile and unfriendly parts of the world, particularly in the middle east.

The advent of fracking has changed the world’s energy economy.

The Obama administration came into office hoping to usher in a renewable energy renaissance based on the high price of oil and gas and its own desire to bankrupt the coal industry. Resistance by blue collar workers who found themselves out of work because of the anti-fossil fuel stance on the part of the president and his people and the collapsing price of oil and gas because of fracking has thrown a roadblock into that plan, despite some promising technological advances in solar and wind technology.

Cheap, domestic sources of energy have made the Middle East less relevant to American foreign policy, even though the rise of Al Qaeda and ISIS has kept Washington’s attention on that troubled reason to some extent. Russia, whose economy if dependent on fossil fuel exports, has also been inconvenienced, even as President Vladimir Putin has started an imperial drive in the Ukraine and Syria.

The incoming Trump administration is likely to remove a lot of restrictions on drilling that have been imposed by President Obama.

Cheap, readily accessible sources of energy will be part of its strategy to jump-start economic growth in the United States. Environmental considerations, an obsession during the Obama years, will take a back seat to the need to bring jobs back to America which has been in an economic malaise for the past eight or so years.

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