The gift of fracking has created vast new oil supplies, capable of making America energy independent in a few years, creating millions of jobs, powering economic growth, and crippling the power of OPEC and the Islamic oil producers. Such attention as has been paid to the fracking boom has focused on North Dakota, where an entire state has been transformed. But Texas, already our biggest energy producer, has been busy fracking its way to "an oil boom that's added the equivalent of the Bakken formation in North Dakota to the state's output in just the past 16 months," as IBD puts it.
But Texas isn't stopping with the Peace Garden State as it climbs up the ranks of the oil producers:
As of February, the most recent month for which international oil production data are available, Texas would be the 12th largest oil producer in the world if it were a separate country, only slightly behind Kuwait and Venezuela. (snip)
At the current pace of output gains, Texas' production will likely surpass 3 million bpd by year-end, pulling it ahead of Venezuela, Kuwait, Mexico and Iraq to become the equivalent of the ninth largest oil-production "nation" in the world. (snip)
By 2020, according to Yergin, shale gas alone is expected to support 4 million jobs, up from 1.7 million today. That's the year the U.S. (and Texas) will pass up Saudi Arabia as the world's leading oil exporter, according to the International Energy Agency.
Texas, especially Houston, is the world center of the energy business, creating and exploiting at home and worldwide the new technologies. Powered by oil, the best business climate in the country, and a powerful culture that emphasizes energy, enterprise, sociability, and growth, Texas is surging towards pre-eminence among the states.
New York and California have long been accustomed to economic, educational, and cultural leadership, priding themselves as being magnets for ambitious young people. Today, the largest numbers of career seekers are moving to Texas. The dynamism of that state is redrawing the economic and cultural structure of the country, while the left intelligentsia deigns to plow ahead with the progressive agenda that strangles economic activity and ultimately leads to decline. They may mock and fulminate when Rick Perry drops by recruiting businesses to move to Texas, but move companies do when the extra costs of doing business in California or New York can no longer be sustained. Not every company is a Google or Goldman Sachs. As people, money, and opportunity gravitate to Texas, so also will, in the long run, sociocultural leadership.
Our Republic is a dynamic entity, and the rise of Texas in the last several decades is one of the greatest emerging trends in our political economy. On this Independence Day, I celebrate the Republic of Texas having joined the United States.