Sean Hackbarth Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


May 02, 2017


The U.S. fracking boom can only do so much to meet world oil demand, says Chevron’s CEO.

“Shale can help. Certainly between now and the end of the decade it will be a big contributor to meeting that million-barrels-of-oil-demand growth that's out there,” John Watson told CNBC. “But ultimately oil fields decline, and we're going to need all sources of supply, including the shales, but also deepwater and other sources around the world.”

EIA chart: U.S. Shale oil production: 2010-2040.

Source: Energy Information Administration.

As Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, noted, “Of all executive actions as well as bills to repeal Obama’s midnight regulations, 20% have been focused on energy.”

Last week, President Trump ordered a review of offshore energy development. In the future, we could see safe energy development in the Mid-Atlantic, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the Arctic.

Regulatory Reform

On the regulatory front, the Trump administration earned a good grade from Watson. “Arguably it’s been one of the most significant things the Trump administration has done so far,” he declared. “There have been regulations and guidance documents that have been rescinded by the Trump administration that were just heaping costs on our industry with no discernible benefit.”

Locking in those gains is critical. “We have routine regulations in the country—we want those,” Watson explained. “But it’s the overreach without cost-benefit analysis without an understanding of what the real implications are that have hurt this economy.”

The first major move to modernizing the federal regulatory process in decades, the Regulatory Accountability Act, would achieve much of what Watson wants. It would focus federal agencies’ efforts on the most expensive rules and require more analysis, transparency, and public input.

Reining in the Regulatory State will pay off. “The speed of business is slowed by excessive regulation,” Watson said. “Rolling back the unnecessary regulations can kick start the economy in a big way.”

About the authors

Sean Hackbarth

Sean Hackbarth

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.

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