Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Economics and Finance

First Advisor

Randy T. Simmons


A key political concern for the United States (US) since World War II has been its dependence on foreign energy. These concerns have arisen from a volatile nature of crude oil prices and the country’s preexisting beliefs of peak oil in the early 1970s, resulting in unpredictable energy markets. Highlighted have been episodes of rising oil prices leading to recessions, higher inflation rates, and economic stagnation (Brown and Yucel, 2013). Changing this story are recent gains in both crude oil and natural gas production, helping to vault the country to at least temporary energy stardom. In fact, 2014 statistics from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that domestic total technically recoverable shale gas resources are at 665 trillion cubic feet. The EIA also showed that in the year 2000 natural gas from shale formations provided only 1% of US natural gas production; by 2010 it was over 20% and the EIA predicts that by 2035, 46% of the natural gas supply will come from shale gas.

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Economics Commons