From the Washington Post’s “Wonkbook” comes three pieces of great news about America’s energy situation, from both political and economic perspectives.

First, North Dakota may have three times as much recoverable gas, and twice as much shale oil, as previously estimated:

Technological advancements have made the unconventional fossil fuels in North Dakota’s Three Forks formation “technically recoverable,” the Interior Department’s United States Geological Survey (USGS) announced Tuesday.

And by rolling Three Forks into the Bakken shale formation, the region that spans North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana could now produce 7.4 billion barrels of oil, 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 0.53 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.

Compared to 2008 estimates, that’s triple the amount of shale gas and double the amount of shale oil that the region could yield.

“These world-class formations contain even more energy resource potential than previously understood, which is important information as we continue to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement.

Jewell stressed in a Tuesday media call that some of the reserves “may not be economically recoverable,” but that new technologies made it possible to tap the hydrocarbons.

The article notes hydraulic fracking is largely responsible for America’s recent energy boom. And speaking of hydraulic fracking, the next piece of good news:

The new EPA data is “kind of an earthquake” in the debate over drilling, said Michael Shellenberger, the president of the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental group based in Oakland, Calif. “This is great news for anybody concerned about the climate and strong proof that existing technologies can be deployed to reduce methane leaks.”

The scope of the EPA’s revision was vast. In a mid-April report on greenhouse emissions, the agency now says that tighter pollution controls instituted by the industry resulted in an average annual decrease of 41.6 million metric tons of methane emissions from 1990 through 2010, or more than 850 million metric tons overall. That’s about a 20 percent reduction from previous estimates. The agency converts the methane emissions into their equivalent in carbon dioxide, following standard scientific practice.

The EPA revisions came even though natural gas production has grown by nearly 40 percent since 1990. The industry has boomed in recent years, thanks to a stunning expansion of drilling in previously untapped areas because of the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which injects sand, water and chemicals to break apart rock and free the gas inside.

Experts on both sides of the debate say the leaks can be controlled by fixes such as better gaskets, maintenance and monitoring. Such fixes are also thought to be cost-effective, since the industry ends up with more product to sell.

For humor purposes, check out the second-biggest source of methane pollution, according to the EPA:

The new EPA figures still show natural gas operations as the leading source of methane emissions in the U.S., at about 145 million metric tons in 2011. The next biggest source was enteric fermentation, scientific jargon for belches from cows and other animals, at 137 million metric tons. Landfills were the third-biggest source, at 103 million metric tons.

The third piece of good news, over at The Atlantic:

Natural gas, both from fracking and in methane hydrate, gives us a way to cut back on carbon emissions while we work toward a more complete solution.

This latter piece, which is nearly 10,000 words long, essentially argues that natural gas expansion is a “crutch” and a short-term solution to comprehensive carbon emission solutions. It also says fossil fuels may not be as finite as originally thought. Whether one agrees with alleged risks of carbon emissions in the manner discussed in the piece, or the limits of fossil fuel recovery, however, the Wonkbook has given proponents of a less-regulated, more expansive energy production effort in America at least four major weapons going forward:

This latter piece, which is nearly 10,000 words long, essentially argues that natural gas expansion is a “crutch” and a short-term solution to comprehensive carbon emission solutions. It also says fossil fuels may not be as finite as originally thought. Whether one agrees with alleged risks of carbon emissions in the manner discussed in the piece, or the limits of fossil fuel recovery, however, the Wonkbook has given proponents of a less-regulated, more expansive energy production effort in America at least four major weapons going forward:

  1. Warnings about the finite nature of fossil fuels, especially those located in the U.S., are overdone and inadequate to the task of providing substance to the domestic energy production debate.
  2. Even as we expand energy production via fracking, pollution claims are also overdone. To be fair, the EPA’s aforementioned study has its critics in the environmental community, but this is a huge step towards bringing many Americans currently on the fence regarding the balance between oil production and environmental protection.
  3. Fracking simply isn’t the environmentally destructive boogeyman environmentalists and their allies have claimed it is.
  4. All of the above facts provide a great opportunity for America to continue its current energy boom, thus providing more jobs (and even that could be expanded further, should the Obama Administration stop impeding the Keystone Pipeline) and greater national security.

Once again, the alarmists have failed to prevent the realities of expanded energy production from arriving. As Tea Party activists, let’s pass the word along that freeing up energy markets from unconstitutional and economically harmful federal regulations is a small step towards balancing the federal budget, a step that gets progressively larger if the federal government stops energy subsidies that cost nearly $20 billion per year.