WASHINGTON D.C. — The Institute for Energy Research released today a groundbreaking North American Energy Inventory exposing the decades-long myth that the U.S. is running out of coal, oil, and natural gas because of inadequate domestic supplies. As a part of IER’s year long “Energy for America” campaign, the report details the vast energy resources that could power the nation’s future, if not for government policy that stands in the way.

“The current administration and its green energy allies in business and in Washington appear willing to drive up the price of energy for American consumers by limiting access to our vast resources. For the past several years, taxpayer dollars have been spent to fund unproven green energy pipe dreams, while Americans have been denied the opportunity to utilize the coal, oil, and natural gas that is literally under our feet,” said IER President Tom Pyle about the report.

“This energy report should change the conversation in Washington and promote policies that reproduce nationwide the energy boom in places like North Dakota, where unemployment is at now at 3.5 percent (the lowest in the nation) and domestic production on private lands has more than tripled in the last five years. The Institute for Energy Research is proud to release this report, the culmination of months of research and analysis by IER experts. We have drawn from a broad array of government, industry, and university data to present hard facts — not myths — about our energy future. The report presents a clearer picture than the anti-fracking, anti-drilling, and anti-exploring ideologues in Washington want the American people to see.”

Among the report’s findings are:

  • When combined with resources from Canada and Mexico, the total recoverable oil in North America exceeds 1.7 trillion barrels. That’s more than the entire world has used in 150 years, and sufficient to fuel the present needs in the United States for the next 250 years.
  • In the last 30 years, the United States produced 77 billion barrels of oil, which was more than 150 percent of the estimated reserves in 1980.
  • The total amount of recoverable natural gas in North America is approximately 4.2 quadrillion (4,244 trillion) cubic feet. That is enough natural gas in North America to last for the next 175 years at current rates of consumption.
  • There is more recoverable natural gas in North America, Canada, and Mexico than the combined proved reserves in Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkmenistan.
  • North America has more than 497 billion short tons of recoverable coal, or nearly three times as much as Russia, which has the world’s second largest reserves. In fact, North America’s recoverable coal resources are bigger than the five largest non-North American countries’ reserves combined (Russia, China, Australia, India, Ukraine.)
  • A scarcity of good policies, not a scarcity of energy, is responsible for U.S. energy insecurity.

IER will preview the report during a weekly briefing at The Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, December 6, 2011. To watch the briefing live, click here.

To read the full report and supplemental materials, click here.

To watch a video presentation of the report’s central findings, click here.

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