Higher oil and gas production and improvements in the resulting effect on the environment has helped lower the United States’ energy security risk by six percent, a new report found.
The index of U.S. energy security risk, issued by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for the 21st Century Energy, measures geopolitical, economic, reliability and environmental risks to assess the ability of the United States to provide for its own energy security.
The sharp rise in domestic unconventional oil and natural gas production in 2012 was the most significant driver in lowering energy risk, according to the report.
“One positive trend in particular that has emerged is the rise in domestic unconventional oil and gas production,” the report said. “This is especially important because the United States now accounts for a shrinking portion of global oil demand.”
The large supply and relatively low price of natural gas in turn helped lower carbon emissions, as electric plants across the country began to phase out some of the older coal plants.
Relatively stable energy prices, lower demand and increased energy efficiency have also helped lower risks in the energy markets.
The drop in domestic demand also means the United States is less able to drive the global price for oil, making a domestic supply of oil more important for energy security.
The index uses quantifiable data, historical trend information, and government projections to identify the factors that contribute energy security.