Concerning natural gas and oil freed by fracking, many environmentalists urge that we “Leave it in the ground.” In other words continue energy dependency, loss of manufacturing jobs, and regressive higher energy costs. The following was adapted from a masterresource.org article.
Fracking boosted shale gas production from zero a few years ago to 10% of all U.S. energy supplies in 2012, and increased U.S. oil production 25% since 2008 – almost all on state and private, not federal, lands.
Fracking created 1.7 million jobs in oil fields, equipment manufacturing, and other sectors. It will generate over $60 billion this year in state and federal tax and royalty revenues, reduce America’s oil import bill by $75 billion, and save us $100 billion in imported liquefied natural gas.
A resurgent American petroleum industry could add about “3.6 million jobs by 2020, and increase the U.S. gross domestic product by as much as 3 percent,” says Citigroup’s “Energy 2020” report. Fracking is bringing new jobs and revenues to states underlain by shale deposits, and could give our nation over a century of hydrocarbon energy that will keep prices low for fuel and petrochemical feed stocks.
That means more manufacturing and other jobs for millions of graduates and unemployed workers, and new prosperity for the “Rust Belt” and other areas. “Plunging natural gas prices have turned the U.S. into one of the most profitable places in the world to make chemicals and fertilizer,” says the Wall Street Journal. It’s also “slashed costs for makers of energy-intensive products such as aluminum, steel and glass.”
It could make North America ‘energy independent’ (really energy neutral) and even a net exporter of natural gas. In fact, this amazing new technology could turn the United States into the world’s #1 oil producer just a few more years.