WASHINGTON DC (December 20, 2019) – Today, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) released its fourth edition of Hard Facts: An Energy Primer. The report provides an in-depth analysis of America’s energy resources and its significance to the economy. Like in previous editions, IER aims to ground policy conversations with facts and counter misconceptions about our domestic energy resources.

As outlined in the introduction of the latest edition of Hard Facts, nothing is more fundamental to unlocking human creativity and our full potential than the availability of affordable and reliable energy. Energy heats our homes, fuels our transportation, and powers the technology that contributes to our overall well-being. To put it simply, affordable energy enriches our lives and those of our loved ones, neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens by allowing us to do more.

Thomas Pyle, President of the Institute of Energy Research (IER), released the following statement along with the latest issue of Hard Facts:

“Too few people in America, be it policymaker, journalist, or everyday citizen, fully grasp the nation’s true energy story. Fewer still fail to understand the significance that affordable energy plays in our society and all the incredible benefits it delivers. With our country at a crossroads in terms of energy policy, Hard Facts sets the record straight.”

Energy has been the driving force behind the massive improvements in human living standards that began nearly 200 years ago. Affordable, reliable energy is the foundation of a free and prosperous society because it is essential to everything that makes progress and opportunity possible.

Hard Facts: An Energy Primer is a genuine reference tool for the news reporter, the policymaker, and everyday citizens. Key takeaways include:

  • At the end of 2017, the U.S. had slightly more than 39.1 billion barrels of proved crude oil reserves—84 percent higher than 10 years ago.
  • U.S. oil production in 2018 averaged almost 11 million barrels per day, with production in November and December hitting almost 12 million barrels per day. Oil production in 2018 was 1.6 million barrels per day higher than in 2017 (a 17 percent increase).
  • In the past decade, U.S. companies have drilled 114,000 wells in the Permian Basin of Texas alone; many of them are profitable at crude oil prices as low as $30 a barrel.
  • The renewable energy sector, including hydro, was responsible for 17 percent of the net electricity generated in the U.S. in 2018.
  • In 2018, the U.S. produced an average of 101.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, the highest volume on record.
  • In 2018, U.S. coal exports rose for the second consecutive year to 116 million short tons.
  • In 2018, the U.S. nuclear power fleet generated its highest capacity factor ever at 92.6 percent.
  • In 2018, the renewable energy industry experienced an unexpected flattening of growth as renewables added about the same net capacity worldwide in 2018 as they did in 2017.


Read the full edition of Hard Facts: An Energy Primer here.


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