Ed Morse: Energy to Spark ‘Industrial Revolution’

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The United States is on the verge of a new industrial revolution as the result of a domestic energy boom, Citigroup’s head of global commodities research said Wednesday.

“There’s no doubt that we’re seeing an industrial revolution — a reindustrialization of the United States — taking place because of the shale revolution taking place lowest, because we have the lowest natural gas prices in the world,” Ed Morse said on “The Kudlow Report.” “We will for one or two or three generations.”

Morse, a former deputy secretary of state for international energy policy, said he saw positive forces ahead for the energy sector.

“Politics aside, the regulatory environment going forward is going to be one that’s going to enhance production growth, even on federal land,” he said.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed article, titled “Move Over, OPEC — Here We Come,” Morse argued that U.S. energy policy faced a serious potential challenge.

“Whether the increase results in the U.S. reducing its imports or whether our net exports grow doesn't matter much to world balances,” he wrote. “Either way, North America is becoming the new Middle East. The only thing that can stop this is politics — environmentalists getting the upper hand over supply in the U.S., for instance; or First Nations impeding pipeline expansion in Canada; or Mexican production continuing to trip over the Mexican Constitution, impeding foreign investment or technology transfers — in North America itself.”

Asked about his motivation for authoring the piece, Morse offered a bullish stance on the oil and gas sector.

“I’m thinking that actually the U.S. is the fastest-growing oil-producing country in the world, the fastest-growing gas-producing country in the world, and yes, it’s happening mostly on private lands,” he said. “This has happened despite whatever politics have intruded on it.”

Morse estimated that between 2½ million and 3½ million new jobs would be created by greater domestic energy production by 2020.

In his parting words, Morse offered some advice to policymakers.

“Of course, it’s let the market work and get rid of impediments to the market working,” he said.

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