A little more than a year ago, we editorialized in favor of a “North American oil market that would operate independently of a world market.” Would that be possible? A fresh report tells us it is.
‘The United States, Canada, and Mexico,” says the Manhattan Institute, “are awash in hydrocarbon resources: oil, natural gas, and coal.”
In fact, writes Manhattan Institute fellow Mark P. Mills, “The total North American hydrocarbon resource base is more than four times greater than all the resources extant in the Middle East.”
So how much is the North American continent holding in hydrocarbons?
According to the numbers that Mills pulled together from a number of sources, there are roughly 13 trillion barrels of oil equivalent in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. That dwarfs the Middle East’s total of 2.6 trillion barrels of oil equivalent.
North America is so rich in energy resources that with the right public policies in place, it could become, says Mills, “the largest supplier of fuel to the world by 2030.”
Not only would the U.S. be virtually energy independent in that scenario, our wealth would grow.
“An 80% increase in aggregate hydrocarbon production over two decades,” Mills writes in “Unleashing the North American Energy Colossus,” would “yield over $7 trillion of value to the North American economy, with $5 trillion of that accruing to the U.S.”
It would also mean 2.5 million more American jobs than if we continue along our current energy path.