This is one of the biggest environmental news stories this year to date, but I’m apparently one of the few investigative journalists who understands just how significant it is.
In case you were thinking that the federal government under President Joe Biden was addressing the climate crisis by reducing oil drilling and dependence on fossil fuels in the U.S. at this time, I have some alarming news for you.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that U.S. oil production will average 12.4 million barrels per day during 2023, surpassing the record high for domestic crude oil production set in 2019 under Trump.
“In its January Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA forecasts U.S. crude oil production will increase for nine consecutive quarters, from the fourth quarter of 2021 through 2023,” according to a press release from the EIA issued yesterday. “EIA also expects OPEC to increase its crude oil production to 28.9 million barrels per day in 2023, up from an average of 26.3 million barrels per day in 2021.”
“We expect global demand for petroleum products to return to and surpass pre-pandemic levels this year, but crude oil production grows at a faster rate in our forecasts,” said EIA Acting Administrator Steve Nalley. “We expect that as crude oil production increases, inventories will begin to replenish and help push prices lower for gasoline, jet fuel, and other products in the short term.”
The agency also forecasts that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories will reach 465 million barrels at the end of 2023, about 11% more than inventories at the end of 2021.
Other key takeaways from the latest STEO include:
- “EIA estimates that the United States produced 1.5 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of solar power in 2021, a 23.7% increase from 2020. EIA forecasts U.S. consumption of solar-generated electricity to increase a further 27.3% in 2022 and 25.2% in 2023.
- “By September 2023, EIA expects U.S. natural gas production to reach an average of 98 billion cubic feet per day for the first time and then to average 98.2 billion cubic feet per day the second half of 2023.
- “U.S. coal consumption increased by 14% in 2021 in response to growing demand for coal-fired electricity. EIA expects U.S. coal consumption to decrease by 2% in 2022 and remain relatively unchanged in 2023. Despite the decrease in consumption, EIA forecasts that coal production will increase 6% in 2022.”
The entire Short-Term Energy Outlook is available on the EIA website.
Meanwhile in California, the Newsom Administration continues to issue thousands of oil and gas drilling permits.
In October 2021, Consumer Watchdog and Fractracker Alliance revealed at www.NewsomWellWatch.org that the state’s oil and gas regulatory agency, CalGEM, had approved a total of 9,728 oil drilling permits from January 1, 2019 until October 1, 2021. In addition, the groups found that the Newsom Administration approved 150 offshore drilling permits in state waters under existing leases since January 1, 2019.
Is anybody else beginning to see a pattern here?