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Sinking Oil Prices And American Energy Production48:07
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American energy production at a time of low oil prices. Oil, gas, wind, solar. And what the changed oil price landscape means.

In this Dec. 19, 2014 file photo, oil pump jacks work in unison, in Williston, N.D. The number of drill rigs in western North Dakota's oil patch has slipped to a five-year low with the falling price of oil. (AP)
In this Dec. 19, 2014 file photo, oil pump jacks work in unison, in Williston, N.D. The number of drill rigs in western North Dakota's oil patch has slipped to a five-year low with the falling price of oil. (AP)

Oil inventories in the United States are at the highest level in 80 years, piling up as supply runs ahead of demand. An American boom in oil production – extraction - has made the United States now the number one oil producer in the world, ahead of Saudi Arabia. At the same time, oil prices have plummeted from over $100 dollars a barrel to forty-something. The last time oil prices cratered, Americans jumped into SUVs and stayed there. Alternative energy suffered. What about now? This hour On Point:  American energy production in a time of low oil prices, from drilling rigs to wind farms.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Coral Davenport, energy and environment reporter for the New York Times. (@coralmdavenport)
Michael Levi, senior fellow for energy and the environment and director of geoeconomic studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Author of "The Power Surge" and co-author of "By All Means Necessary." (@levi_m)
Jeffrey Ball, scholar-in-residence at Stanford University's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance. (@Jeff_Ball)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Obama’s Strategy on Climate Change, Part of Global Deal, Is Revealed — "Mr. Obama’s new blueprint brings together several domestic initiatives that were already in the works, including freezing construction of new coal-fired power plants, increasing the fuel economy of vehicles and plugging methane leaks from oil and gas production. It is meant to describe how the United States will lead by example and meet its pledge for cutting emissions."

The Atlantic: The Hidden Effects of Cheap Oil — "How low will oil prices drop? And how long will this period of low prices last? Venturing answers is risky business; virtually no expert, corporation, or government anticipated the revolutionary drop in prices that began in the summer of 2014. But there are signs that the new normal could remain normal for some time."

The New Republic: Oil Prices Are Dropping. Will We Turn Into Gas-Guzzling, Energy Monsters Again? — "Now, as oil prices drop again—they were at $81 a barrel on Wednesday, down 23% from $105 in June—it’s fair to suspect that history is about to repeat itself. If past is prologue, that would be bad for the environment. It could cause a host of green shoots achieved over the past decade—from more-fuel-efficient cars, to a lurch from coal to natural gas as the fuel of choice for electricity, to an unprecedented, though still nascent, rise in renewable energy—to whither."

This program aired on April 1, 2015.

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