Energy Independence Made Easy?

You got to admire the American ‘Can-Do’ spirit, which is on full throttle display since we woke up to our energy predicament.

Oil sheiks got over us a barrel? Not for long! Definitely not when we really put our collective Yank minds to the problem – as we are finally beginning to do. Part of that means remembering who we are - a continental power with vast resources – and tapping into our natural endowments.

By now, everyone knows we were naturally christened as the ‘Saudi Arabia of coal’ – with hundreds of years of supply.

And most of us caught Boone Pickens (see video) recently making his pitch for turning the American Great Plains into a vast wind farm, making good on our God-given wind resources to become the ‘Saudi Arabia of wind.’

President Bush recently trumped these by suggesting it was time we dip deep into our biggest energy piggy-bank: our oil shale resources, buried in the Green River Basin lying under Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. That has long been estimated to contain the equivalent of 800 billion barrels of oil, if not more.

“That's more than three times larger than the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia,” enthused our commander in chief. “And it can be fully recovered -- and if it can be fully recovered it would be equal to more than a century's worth of currently projected oil imports, ” he added.

The latest entrant into this new home-grown energy bonanza came yesterday from Chesapeake Energy, the country’s third largest gas producer. A study commissioned by the Oklahoma City-based independent firm has now determined that the country really has enough natural gas reserves – thanks to previously neglected unconventional sources - to be self-sufficient for more than 100 years.

So there - poof! Energy crisis? What energy crisis?! American ingenuity at work!

Of course, reality is just a little bit more messy. In the coming days we will be looking at some of the devilish details that just might trip up our blitheful ascent to become the Saudi Arabia in all things energy - and finally fully energy-independent, as pleasant as that dream is.

Video: An ACSF and NIC study indicates enough U.S. natural gas supply for about 188 years, with Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake Energy CEO.

Questions? Comments?