I have tirelessly spent the last week or so trying not to write a post which either a) reflects on last year or b) provides some sort of outlook for 2012. This has left me considering the here and now, and the USA.
Swinging the spotlight back onto energy (as is inevitable here on the burrito), I realized there is a lot to be thankful for in the US. Despite some obvious shortfalls in the energy landscape (reliance on fossil fuels, foreign energy dependence, etc) I believe the US is moving in the right direction. So henceforth I present some random points as to why the US is great, from both an energy perspective, and from the perspective of a Brit.
–The ramp up in domestic oil production from shale plays – hot on the heels of the shale gas revolution - means less dependence on foreign energy. Domestic energy production currently meets three quarters of total US energy demand.
–The US has lots of space. You don’t have to be a millionaire to have a good-sized garden / yard.
–New fuel economy standards announced in the US last year target car performance in 2025 of 54.5 miles per gallon, set to save 12 billion barrels of oil.
–The weather. It is still a novelty and a pleasure to experience five three consecutive days of sunny weather.
–Oil imports in the US are now below 50% of total consumption, on the decline since peaking in 2005.
–The worst public restroom in the US is probably on par with the best public restroom in London.
–Shale gas is expected to support 870,000 jobs by 2015, and contribute $118.5 billion to GDP.
–Buffalo chicken. Cajun food. BBQ.
–8% of all energy in the US comes from renewable sources. 10% of electricity comes from renewables.
–People are generally more friendly / less grumpy.
–Lower natural gas prices means residential rates are falling across the country.
–Kids with American accents are much cuter (I have proof²). British kids just sound like Oliver Twist.
–The US is full of simple ideas to make life easier, such as drive-thru ATMs…simple yet effective.
So that’s what happens when I try to avoid making reviews, previews or forecasts. From my perspective the US has got it right - or at least is on the right path - from both the energy landscape, and otherwise.