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Go East, Young Oilman

How Asia Is Shaping the Future of 
Global Energy

Coal country: rescuers at a mine in Heilongjiang Province, China, November 2009. ALY SONG / REUTERS

Most observers agree that the United States, propelled by its boom in oil and gas production, is becoming increasingly central to global energy. As oil prices have plummeted, American oil producers have taken credit. As U.S. imports have fallen, foreign policy thinkers have suggested that Washington could rely far less on the Middle East. As U.S. firms have prepared to export liquefied natural gas (LNG), market watchers have braced for a transformation of global natural gas markets and, as a result, geopolitics. And as U.S. energy companies have begun to capitalize on shale gas and renewable energy to tame their reliance on coal, scientists have hoped that Washington might finally take the lead in combating climate change. But when future historians reflect on the ongoing transformation of the global energy landscape, they won’t focus narrowly on the United States: Asia will feature at least as prominently,

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