Wikistrat just started running a new community-wide simulation called “The North American Energy Boom?” Notice the question mark there because even if there’s tremendous potential, governments, especially in Mexico and the United States, remain hesitant to exploit it as fully as they could.
Barely half a day into the simulation, some interesting scenarios have already been raised. Among them, “Mexico takes the lead in North America’s fracking boom.” Did you know Mexico is estimated to posses the fourth largest shale gas resources in the world? James Bosworth, who’s a Wikistrat Contributing Analyst, did and he suggests that if there isn’t the political will to push ahead with shale gas exploitation in the United States, Mexican imports could prove a win-win for both. America gets the energy it needs while avoiding the immediate environmental consequences; Mexico takes the business.
South of the border, there may be less popular resistance to unorthodox energy production but up north, there is considerable opposition to tar sand exploitation.
Teale Phelps Bondaroff, who is another Contributing Analyst with Wikistrat and specialized in radical and terrorist movements, predicts that the opposition in Canada will not be able to outweigh the industrial lobby though. “Many of these groups are disorganized and ad hoc and often criticized for advocating ‘not in my back yard’ issues,” he writes.
That may be true but I do think they have an impact. Consider President Barack Obama’s recent refusal to permit construction of the Keystone XL pipeline which would have carried oil from the Alberta tar sands to Houston, Texas. Part of that may have been to call the Republicans’ bluff for the heck of it but he is pouring billions into subsidies for solar and wind energy at the same time. Who knows? I may get to see a scenario about that, too!