by Mark P. Mills
Manhattan Institute
March 12, 2014
America is now the world’s fastest-growing oil-and-gas-producing region and could become a net energy—and even a net oil—exporter. Meanwhile, China has become the world’s largest oil importer. Imports are, in fact, rising across the Asia-Pacific region. This new reality is fundamentally reversing the trade and economic positions of China and the United States. Today, oil imports account for about 40 percent of America’s $750 billion annual trade deficit. Expanding the domestic production of hydrocarbons to reduce imports as well as increase exports will function as an enormous subsidy-free stimulus to the U.S. economy. Oil and natural gas businesses are willing and able to produce more. This cannot be accomplished, however, unless the government avoids policies that prohibit or inhibit oil and natural gas production or that constrain market freedom. The government must also take positive action to ensure and accelerate the expansion of hydrocarbon exports.

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