We didn’t call this initiative The Energy Xchange just because we thought it sounded catchy. The name evolved from a conviction that real discourse—not just debate, but conversations where different perspectives actually seek mutual understanding—is too often missing in coverage of the issues with which we are concerned. Consequently, we as a nation are making plans and decisions without sufficiently critical examination of fundamental changes that may lie ahead. To coin a phrase, the future we are planning for may not be the future that we are heading for.
One of the key goals of The Energy Xchange is to provide a platform for information-sharing and critical discourse about a broad issue that, in our assessment, has been grossly under-examined relative to its importance to our future. That issue is the interconnection between energy and the economy.
Even within the academic and professional field of energy economics, most attention is focused on economic analysis of the energy industry and energy markets—not on the implications of energy issues for the broader macro-economy.
The United States has been enjoying a sharp increase in domestic oil production over the past several years, nearing its historic peak of 10 million barrels per day that was reached way back in 1970. Oil production had declined by almost half before the recent surge—few had imagined such a reversal was possible.
This boom has prompted industry voices and political leaders to re-examine the federal ban on exports of crude oil (the ban does not include refined petroleum products). The United States continues to be a net importer of petroleum—i.e. we still consume substantially more than we produce.