The Energy Information Administration unveiled its annual long-term forecasts Thursday and here's a hot take: The U.S. is going to keep pumping lots of oil and shale will remain the dominant force.

Expand chart
Reproduced from EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

The big picture: Just how much production will depend on price, resource and technology variables, some of them reflected in the chart above (where "tight" oil is a proxy for shale). In the EIA's central or "Reference" scenario, "U.S. crude oil production continues to grow through 2030 and then plateaus at more than 14.0 million barrels per day (b/d) until 2040."

The intrigue: Bloomberg reporters noticed something interesting from what we could label in the "life moves pretty fast" file:

  • "A year ago, the U.S. government saw American crude production averaging 11.95 million barrels a day in 2042. Shale drillers are set to exceed that this year," they note.
  • "The Energy Information Administration now estimates output will top out at 14.53 million barrels a day in 2031."

Why it matters: The crude surge is a reason behind one of the key findings — that the U.S. as a net energy exporter will be the new normal.

  • The report's Reference case projects that the U.S. becomes a net energy exporter in 2020 and stays that way through the end of its projection period in 2050.
  • It's the result of "large increases in crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) production coupled with slow growth in U.S. energy consumption," according to the EIA report.
  • Of note: the EIA already said in a separate report recently that the U.S. would be a net exporter of crude and petroleum products combined in Q4 of 2020, but the new report signals its view that this will be a long-lasting dynamic.

What's next: I plan to explore one of the other findings — the EIA's pessimistic projection of electric vehicle adoption — some time next week.

Go deeper: US to become a net energy exporter in 2020 for first time in nearly 70 years, Energy Dept says (CNBC)

Go deeper

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Voters in Wisconsin, Michigan urged to return absentee ballots to drop boxes

Signs for Joe Biden are seen outside a home in Coon Valle, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3. Photo by KEREM YUCEL via Getty

Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic attorney general of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes, warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3. In Michigan, absentee ballots must also be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

39 mins ago - Technology

Facebook warns of "perception hacks" undermining trust in democracy

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Facebook warned Tuesday that bad actors are increasingly taking to social media to create the false perception that they’ve pulled off major hacks of electoral systems or have otherwise seriously disrupted elections.

Why it matters: "Perception hacking," as Facebook calls it, can have dire consequences on people's faith in democracy, sowing distrust, division and confusion among the voters it targets.

Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage"

Former President Barack Obama launched a blistering attack on President Trump while campaigning for Joe Biden in Orlando on Tuesday, criticizing Trump for complaining about the pandemic as cases soar and joking that he's "jealous of COVID's media coverage."

Driving the news: Trump has baselessly accused the news media of only focusing on covering the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed over 226,000 Americans so far and is surging across the country once again — as a way to deter people from voting on Election Day and distract from other issues.