The shape of the world’s energy landscape is changing. According to the International Energy Agency, the United States could surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer by 2017, as well as unseat Russia as the leading producer of natural gas within three years. The IAE’s annual World Energy Outlook cites unconventional (and controversial) technologies such as hydraulic fracking and deepwater drilling as a large part of America’s “energy renaissance.” According to the IAE’s chief economist, Faith Birol, U.S. oil imports are on track to fall from 10 million barrels per day to four million. While increased domestic production accounts for roughly 55 percent of the reduction, Birol also credits better federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks with making up the other half. The report concluded that the U.S., which imports about 20 percent of its energy now, could become self-sufficient by 2035.
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