Energy Outlook of the United States: Can Shale Oil Reserves & Hydraulic Fracturing Lead to Energy Independence?

Open Access
Dickey, Kylie Sue
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Robert Alexander Novack, Thesis Supervisor
  • John C Spychalski, Honors Advisor
  • United States Energy Independence
  • Hydraulic Fracturing
This thesis aims to answer an important question: Can the United States become energy independent, and if so, when? This thesis delves into the sources of energy available to the United States, including petroleum, coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy. Furthermore, it looks into the paths to energy independence, including increasing energy supply and decreasing energy demand. With substantial new opportunities facing the energy industry, including using fracking to extract oil and gas deep under the earth’s surface, the United States has a plethora of methods to increase its energy supply in the next decades. A few constraints, particularly environmental concerns and political policies, are currently prohibiting the United States from fully engaging all of its resources. Overall, energy independence is an enthralling debate that will impact where the United States is headed in the future.