Just a few years ago many laughed at the "drill, baby, drill" mantra.

Naysayers said it was almost impossible to produce enough U.S. oil to significantly lower gasoline prices. But surging oil production from the shale oil formations of Texas, North Dakota and now Ohio have put that argument to bed. 

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U.S. oil production has OPEC scrambling.  Oil prices have fallen to a two and half-year low due to slowing global demand and surging U.S. energy production. Some members of OPEC, such as Iran and Venezuela, are calling for the cartel to take emergency action to cut production and prop up the price of oil. It remains unclear if OPEC will act - not every member wants or needs to cut production - but what is now abundantly clear is the impact U.S. oil production is having on the price at the pump.

Even in the vast sea of global oil demand, U.S. production has become critically important. Four million barrels per day of new domestic oil production since 2010 has played a huge role in the global marketplace. Americans have saved at the pump, while also avoiding oil price spikes when turmoil in the Middle East and Africa has impacted production.

Our imports of foreign fuel have fallen to a 25-year low. These benefits aside, the economic stimulus provided by the industry in energy producing-states has been huge.

North Dakota, home to the vast Bakken shale, is an economic miracle. The state's unemployment rate is the lowest in the country. Texas, thought to have seen its heyday of energy production long ago, is now producing more oil per day than Iran. It's no surprise that U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Texas is leading the nation in job growth.

Ohio, one of the states hit hardest by the Great Recession, is emerging as another significant contributor to the shale revolution. The economic boost of energy development is bringing the southeast corner of the state back to life. Some $22.3 billion in shale-related investment has poured into the Buckeye state since 2013.

Other states, such as California and Montana, will likely add to the shale oil increases.

No longer a promise of what's to come, the shale boom has arrived on main street America.  But it's important to understand how we got here and where we need to go to keep this energy revolution churning forward.

The shale industry is the product of innovative technologies, namely hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, American entrepreneurism, and some fortunate geology. Not only is America blessed with vast shale resources rich in oil and natural gas, but those resources mostly lie on private land.

The Obama administration, which has benefited greatly from the shale boom, hasn't shied away from taking credit for it. But, in truth, the administration has had a very small role in the shale production of oil on federal lands, which was down six percent between 2009 and 2013.  Similarly, production of natural gas on such lands was reduced by 28 percent in the same period.

If our resurgence as an energy super power is to continue, we have to craft energy policies that allow us greater access to our vast resources. Today, 87 percent of federally- controlled offshore areas remain off- limits to oil and natural gas exploration. Despite increasing evidence that hydraulic fracturing and shale development can be done safely, the permitting and regulatory process for onshore drilling on federal lands remains overly burdensome.

We have the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, along with the resources to drive economic growth and leave the era of American energy insecurity in the dust.  Now all we need is for the federal government to assist with such energy and economic growth, not fight it.

Porter is an energy and environmental consultant in Savannah, Ga.  Earlier, he was an assistant administrator of the EPA.