The United State has exactly one chance to grow its way out of its current crushing debt without debauching its currency via an inflationary default: the energy bonanza that is oil shale and natural gas recovery via hydraulic fracturing. On the current trajectory, the United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030. The United States will overtake Russia as the leading producer of natural gas in 2015.
Natural gas fired plants will mean electricity prices will be about 50 percent cheaper in the United States than in Europe by the end of the decade. That will be a huge benefit to American industry and consumers and will result in significant economic growth.
President Obama has identified climate change as one of his top three priorities in his second term after coming under fire from environmentalists for giving the issue short shrift during the campaign.
The president, in an interview for TIME’s Person of the Year award, said the economy, immigration, climate change and energy would be at the top of his agenda for the next four years.
The interview took place before the fatal shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, an incident that had pushed gun control to a top spot on Obama’s agenda.
Obama said his daughters have influenced his thinking about the need to tackle climate change.
“[O]n an issue like climate change, for example, I think for this country and the world to ask some very tough questions about what are we leaving behind, that weighs on you. And not to mention the fact I think that generation is much more environmentally aware than previous generations,” he told TIME.