As U.S. President Barack Obama begins his second term, he faces a number of major challenges and deep divisions on the domestic front. But for the first time in living memory, a U.S. president can look forward to a four-year period in which the country’s energy policy is characterized by abundance, rather than scarcity.
The past four years have seen a revolution in the hydrocarbons industry across the world, but it has been particularly keenly felt in the United States. The advent of shale gas has meant lower energy costs and increased competitiveness for business. In oil production, developments in hydraulic fracturing and new discoveries have made a mockery of the claims of “peak oil” a few years ago.