The US economy has been slammed since 2007 and is teetering at the edge of a deep abyss right now, but US production of energy is booming. See www.eia..gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec1_3.pdf. In 2010, the US fossil, nuclear, and renewable industries produced a total of 75.056 quadrillion Btu, beating the previous record year of 2008 and dwarfing the 1973 level of 58.241 quadrillion Btu.
The first 6 months of 2011 have the US on track to set the total energy production record again at about 76.5 quadrillion Btu. Domestic natural gas production is on pace in 2011 to reach 23 quadrillion BTU and break the all-time record set way back in 1973. And the USA is the world's biggest natural gas producer already.
But it is not just gas. Consider domestic oil production that has been declining precipitously just about every year since 1973 when it stood at 19.493 quadrillion Btu and reaching a low of 10.509 quadrillion Btu.
A 35 year long decline in domestic oil production reversed in 2009 when production increased. Production increased again in 2010 and probably will again in 2011. The domestic oil industry has turned the clock back to 2004 production levels and that is a good thing.
If Lisa Jackson and the EPA is trying to hurt US oil and gas production, they are doing a bad job of it. Just perhaps the EPA is not out to hurt oil and gas production. That is a shocking thought to some.
Renewable energy is also a part of the boom. Renewable energy production that stood at 4.411 quadrillion Btu in 1973 and 6.537 quadrillion Btu in 2007 will likely reach 9 quadrillion Btu in 2011 and surpass the total energy from the US nuclear industry.
Coal is the only domestic industry that is not recording increasing or even record production. Coal set its record year in 1998 with 24.045 quadrillion Btu. In 2010, coal production was 22.077 quadrillion Btu, its lowest level since 2002.
US nuclear production set its record in 2007 at 8.445 quadrillion Btu and was essentially flat at 8.441 quadrillion Btu in 2010. Some recent operational issues at a few nuclear plants may mean a small decrease in 2011 nuclear energy production.
Gas, renewables, and oil are leading an energy boom in the USA. That is a major bright spot in our economy with big implications for the future.