The only sensible solution to this problem is for the federal government, and the Obama administration, to enact a coherent national energy policy that would wean us from the mercies of foreign governments, including those in the turbulent Middle East.
Americans should tap every available resource above, under or offshore the United States – not just the so-called “green energy” sector.
Fortunately for us, that would include the massive oil and gas deposits lying underneath Bee, Karnes, Live Oak and McMullen counties, as well as 20 others, in the Eagle Ford Shale production.
Encouraging words have been expressed about this development, including those reported from several experts attending an open house in Kenedy on March 3.
Beeville native David Blackmon, longtime columnist, is the director of government affairs for El Paso Corporation and chair of ANGA’s Texas State Affair Committee.
He noted that the first well was drilled into the Eagle Ford Shale in 2008, adding, “We are in the very early stages of the development of this resource.”
Some companies believe this will rank as one of the three or four largest oilfields and natural gas fields ever discovered in the state of Texas, he said.
As of Feb. 2, there have been 1,132 wells permitted in the shale so far, Blackmon added. It is expected that by the end of 2011 there will be around 250 rigs operating in the area.
A dramatic increase is expected over the next decade, according to Dr. Dominique Halaby from the University of Texas at San Antonio. By 2020, there will be almost $21.5 billion in total economic output for the area with 68,000 full-time jobs and $3.2 billion paid in salaries and benefits.
Already our communities are starting to feel these effects. The explosive growth in sales tax revenues is just beginning but, according to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ latest figures, both Beeville and Bee County were expected to receive significant boosts in March rebate checks, a 34 percent increase over last year’s totals.
It only makes sense for areas of the U.S., like here and in the Bakken Shale fields in North Dakota and Montana, in the Gulf and Alaska, to drill extensively for oil and natural gas to help meet our energy needs.
Certainly beats the cost of transporting coal here from the northeastern states or oil from the Saudis or Venezuela.