Joe Biden’s United States in the midst of an oil boom

This country has enormous reserves of shale gas and oil and the technology to exploit it cheaply.

©DAVID MCNEW / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Independence

One would have thought that Biden would try to kill this sector for ecological reasons, but that is not the case and it continued to develop under his presidency.

Atlantico: How do you explain this increase in oil and gas production in the United States since the start of Joe Biden’s mandate?

Damien Ernst: We didn’t have to wait for President Joe Biden to have a gas and oil sector that is doing well in the United States. This country has enormous reserves of shale gas and oil and the technology to exploit it cheaply. One would have thought that Biden would try to kill this sector for ecological reasons, but that is not the case and it continued to develop under his presidency. And it is developing well, especially given the high prices of gas and oil. We even note that even in the Gulf of Mexico, the place where there was this huge oil leak linked to the Deepwater Horizon platform, oil companies are starting to develop new projects again.

What are the main differences between the Biden administration’s energy policy and that of its predecessors?

On the surface, the Biden administration is less favorable to the oil and gas sector than the Trump administration, which has never been sensitive to the climate problem. But it’s hard to point to any Biden measures that really hurt the U.S. oil and gas sector. Of course it comes with more restrictive environmental regulations, demands more money from this sector to exploit federal lands, but nothing really that prevents this sector from developing.

The only measure that may be significantly annoying for the US gas sector is that it recently banned applications for new licenses for the construction of LNG terminals to export US shale gas. But I am convinced that this ban will only be temporary.

How do Joe Biden’s climate and energy policies affect the US oil sector? What are the environmental impacts of this oil boom in the United States?

Joe Biden did not dare to attack the American oil and gas sector too head-on. Instead, he worked on reducing oil consumption in the United States, particularly by trying to encourage the growth of electric vehicles. He has also done a lot for the development of renewable energy in the United States, which is a real competitor to shale gas for electricity production. The United States is lucky in this regard. They have a lot of space, a lot of wind and a lot of sun, everything you need to have abundant and inexpensive renewable energy.

How is this boom affecting oil and gas prices globally?

I can’t imagine what oil prices would be like without American production. I can hardly see a barrel priced at less than $150 without American shale oil. When it comes to gas, don’t be fooled. We would never have been able to do without Russian gas without this massive production of shale gas in the United States. We can very clearly thank them for that.

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