March 01, 2016

Oil and Natural Gas Production: Opportunities, Challenges, and Political Quandaries

Jack R. Luellen

The expansion in recent years of domestic oil and natural gas production has profound implications for the supply of energy in the twenty-first century. It has reignited calls for the nation to achieve “energy independence,” and has led to reconsideration of the ban on the exportation of domestically produced crude oil. At the same time, the resurgence of oil and natural gas activity has been met with increased governmental oversight and regulation. Rising production of oil and natural gas also has created tensions with the development of alternative sources of energy. In each of these areas, the surge in domestic production not only has presented the oil and natural gas industries with tremendous opportunities, but also has presented significant challenges for industry, regulators, and communities, and has landed the oil and gas industry squarely in the middle of several political quandaries.

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