Guest Column: US Economic Growth Has More to Do With Oil Boom Than Occupants of White House

The United States is enjoying an unprecedented 11th consecutive year of sustained economic growth. Predictably, both of the occupants of the White House during this time-span have claimed credit. But in reality, our historic run of economic prosperity can be traced to an American energy renaissance that has spanned both the Obama and Trump administrations.

Energy is the one thing that all Americans use. And with that fundamental reality in mind, advances in hydraulic fracturing, aka “fracking,” and horizontal drilling have allowed us to literally drill our way to lower energy prices and economic prosperity.

Since the Great Recession in 2009, U.S. oil production has more than doubled while domestic natural gas production has increased almost 50 percent. We are now the world’s biggest crude oil and natural gas producer and a net petroleum exporter. Not coincidentally, the Department of Energy reported in 2018 that average U.S. energy costs fell 34% from 2008 to 2016, dropping from record-high levels to a “record-low energy expenditure share” in less than a decade. Gasoline prices are about $1.50 below record high levels seen in 2008. Natural gas prices are at 20-year lows. And as NPR reported in August, “Cheap and abundant energy has fueled a resurgence in domestic manufacturing.”

Click here to read the full Southern Illinoisan guest column.