Walter Russell Mead has a great article on the blessings of tough-to-get fuel reserves in the United States and Canada - the best places in the world to have them.
But think how much worse things would be if the new reserves lay in dictatorial kleptocracies. How willing and able would various Central Asia states have been to regulate extraction and limit the damage? How would Nigeria have handled vast new reserves whose extraction required substantially more invasive methods?
Instead, the new sources are concentrated in places where environmentalists have more say in policy making and where, for all the shortcomings and limits, governments are less corruptible, more publicly accountable and in fact more competent to develop and enforce effective energy regulations.