How Much Credit Does Obama Deserve For U.S. Oil Boom?


Is it possible? Could the decades of U.S. dependency on foreign oil finally be drawing to a close? Indeed, recent U.S. dominance of the global oil industry seems to have coincided with the reelection of President Obama, indicating that perhaps he really is an initiator of great "change." Now, with the tables turning for American access to oil, we must consider this change from an international standpoint. With leading access to the world's most powerful source of fuel, how will the United States's reputation fare when the country overshadows former giants in the industry?

How did this self-reliance in oil production come about and right around the time of the 2008 recession, at that? In recent years, new technology such as fracking has increased access to more oil than ever within the United States. But does Obama really deserve the credit for this boom, especially given his aversion toward large oil corporations? After all, the majority of oil produced on U.S. soil comes from such large, privately owned companies. Therefore, it might be safe to instead attribute this immense growth of American oil production to the private sector, rather than the government.

In any case, we are satisfied so far with this newfound domestic efficiency in oil production, as it means less economic entanglement with powerful entities in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. However, what might increased oil exports from the U.S. mean for competing oil companies around the world?

The reality stands that soaring oil output by the U.S. causes oil prices to plummet in several world regions whose economies have been highly dependent upon oil exports, such as Algeria and Nigeria in North Africa and Iran in the Middle East. Will this rise of the American oil industry add to the list of global arenas in which the U.S. already dominates? If so, how will this superiority fare in terms of other countries' attitudes toward the U.S., especially those of countries currently sanctioned by the latter, such as Iran?

So we have a booming oil industry in an already very powerful country whose success is detracting from not only the profit but also the necessary economic quota of countries in Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa. Is more anti-American sentiment on the horizon? It seems that while this boom promises greater economic independence for the United States, other countries around the world may come to view America with spite for its spiking good fortune.