The books that line my desk reflect how much has changed in the oil and natural gas industry in the past five years.
The books written just a few years ago have a decidedly different tone from those written in the past two years.
Books such as “Beyond Oil,” “The End of Oil” and “The Coming Economic Collapse: How You Can Thrive When Oil Costs $200 a Barrel” seem out of place when the industry and country are now focused on rapidly increasing domestic oil and natural gas production.
Just five years ago, politicians and industry leaders were concerned about how to deal with the impending world oil and natural gas shortage.
But this week, President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney both used the season's first presidential debate to discuss how increased domestic production has helped make energy independence possible.
It's nothing new for politicians to discuss energy independence. That's been happening for four decades.
What's new is that energy industry leaders and observers now say it's possible.
The industry has been changed by the development of multistage hydraulic fracturing along with improved horizontal drilling techniques that allow producers to drill as much as two miles down and up to three miles across.
And it happened much faster than almost anyone expected.
Even producers didn't realize their rapid increase in natural gas production would so quickly flood the market and cause prices to collapse.
Just five years ago, industry leaders were planning dozens of liquefied natural gas import facilities that would allow the country to bring in natural gas produced in other parts of the world.
Today, the natural gas industry is trying to increase demand by promoting use in electricity generation and as fuel for cars and trucks.
Some in the industry also are looking to build liquefied natural gas export terminals on the same sites where they wanted to build import facilities just a few years ago.
The change has made the politicians' talk of energy independence possible and created new challenges and opportunities for the industry and the country.
To learn more
Read the second part of a series on energy