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Old 11-23-2012, 01:11 PM  
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Fracking to lead to a new golden age?

Dunno if this should be in DC or not, but it seems more societal than political. I thought it was interesting and had no idea that fracking would have that big an impact.

I added the bold formatting in places because doing so will draw your attention to it since I think it's interesting.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/23/busine...html?hpt=hp_c1

U.S. set for fracking bonanza, says historian Ferguson
By Andrew Stevens, CNN
updated 12:30 PM EST, Fri November 23, 2012

Hong Kong (CNN) -- If there's been one consistent thread running through the U.S. economic story since 2008, it's been the steady drumbeat of gloom.
Outright recession or sub-standard growth, stubbornly high unemployment and fiscal crises have been the topics du jour when it comes to the world's biggest economy.

But now an unlikely champion for U.S. growth under the Obama administration has emerged -- a former adviser to a Republican Party presidential candidate and Harvard history professor, Niall Ferguson, who says America could actually be heading toward a new economic "golden age."

And it has nothing to do with Washington and everything to do with energy.

Ferguson, who is also an author and commentator, believes the production of natural gas and oil from shale formations via a process known as "fracking" -- forcing open rocks by injecting fluid into cracks -- will be a game changer.

"This is an absolutely huge phenomenon with massive implications for the U.S. economy, and I think most people are still a little bit slow to appreciate just how big this is," he said in Hong Kong this week.

"Conceivably it does mean a new golden age."

U.S. energy production has been booming in recent years. The International Energy Agency made a jaw-dropping forecast two weeks ago that the U.S. would pass Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil producer by the end of this decade -- and would achieve near energy independence by the 2030s.


That energy boom, asserts Ferguson, will create jobs in the United States.

Lots of jobs.

The energy sector currently supports 1.7 million American jobs directly or indirectly, according to economic forecaster IHS global Insight. That could rise to 3 million by 2020, it says.

"It's not only in the extraction industry and infrastructure, but more importantly cheap energy is going to create employment in manufacturing. I think you'll see a renaissance in manufacturing," said Ferguson.

"That is being helped by the fact U.S. labor costs have been pretty competitive over the past decade, even as labor costs are going up in China."

It is also, he says, a big deal for the dollar. "As the U.S. moves towards energy independence and becoming the biggest producer in the world, the dollar can only benefit. Anybody who thought the financial crisis was going to lead to the demise of the dollar as an international currency is wrong -- it's quite the opposite."

And what of U.S. engagement in the Middle East?

Ferguson says it would be naive to assume that Washington would withdraw in any significant way from the region.

"Nobody is going to step in and take the job of being global policeman in charge of Middle Eastern stability. I think everyone would be nervous, if the Chinese suddenly volunteered to take that job on, which by the way they are not going to do anytime soon," he said.

For the recently reelected U.S. president though, the energy boom looks like it could provide a welcome tailwind for his second term.

It's something that Ferguson acknowledges -- though one suspects through gritted teeth.

As a supporter of Mitt Romney he penned a controversial pre-election cover story in Newsweek headlined "Hit the Road, Barack," which was highly critical of the president's first term.

He concedes the irony that the president will now be the beneficiary of the "good times that lie ahead."
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:19 PM   #2
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These things never live up to the fracking hype.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:21 PM   #3
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I hope this ain't no Fracking joke !
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:24 PM   #4
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Yes, it is an interesting prediction. However, the energy companies are under no obligation to sell and refine the crude for purely American consumption.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:35 PM   #5
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Energy independence but a destroyed environment.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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There's an interesting prediction that would come out of this. Let's say we pull this off; massive increases in oil production, a decline in energy costs, and a new golden age of the economy.

Do we...

a)...continue planning for the long term when it runs out, developing alternate energy, emphasizing efficiency, and building a conservation mentality?

b)...go back to conspicuous consumption and really big cars with tail fins?


I look forward to seeing the return of tail fins.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguinz View Post
Energy independence but a destroyed environment.
I think that's somewhat overly dramatic.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
There's an interesting prediction that would come out of this. Let's say we pull this off; massive increases in oil production, a decline in energy costs, and a new golden age of the economy.

Do we...

a)...continue planning for the long term when it runs out, developing alternate energy, emphasizing efficiency, and building a conservation mentality?

b)...go back to conspicuous consumption and really big cars with tail fins?


I look forward to seeing the return of tail fins.
No, I think that the move toward more and more fuel-efficient vehicles is a reality now.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguinz View Post
Energy independence but a destroyed environment.
I hear fracking and I think of that video clip of that guy lighting the fracking water on fire coming out of the tap in his sink in his house.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
There's an interesting prediction that would come out of this. Let's say we pull this off; massive increases in oil production, a decline in energy costs, and a new golden age of the economy.

Do we...

a)...continue planning for the long term when it runs out, developing alternate energy, emphasizing efficiency, and building a conservation mentality?

b)...go back to conspicuous consumption and really big cars with tail fins?


I look forward to seeing the return of tail fins.
I don't think long term planning is one of our strengths (except maybe in the defense industry and even there I'm not sure).
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
I hear fracking and I think of that video clip of that guy lighting the fracking water on fire coming out of the tap in his sink in his house.
We don't pipe fracking water to anyone's faucet in this country.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguinz View Post
Energy independence but a destroyed environment.
Natural gas certainly has potential to be a cleaner fuel than coal or oil. But it has to be done correctly with treatment, reuse, and proper disposal of the fracking fluid; proper well construction and inspection; and controls for methane gas release. These will add to the cost of energy production, but I think overall I think natural gas produced through proper fracking can provide energy at costs competitive with coal, but much cleaner.

Still natural gas still puts upward pressure on climate change. I view it as a bridge technology to widespread use of renewables.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I think that's somewhat overly dramatic.
you are correct. We don't need clean water fr crops or livestock.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:54 PM   #14
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Yes, it is an interesting prediction. However, the energy companies are under no obligation to sell and refine the crude for purely American consumption.
Big Oil's dirty little secret.

The gullibility and stupidity of Americans never ceases to amaze me.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:57 PM   #15
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