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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, 01:59 PM   #16
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:01 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Yes, it is an interesting prediction. However, the energy companies are under no obligation to sell and refine the crude for purely American consumption.
At the same time, fracking won't be used exclusively on energy resources located in the US.

We have LNG import facilities that were built just a few years ago. Now, with the relatively low NG production costs compared to those in Europe, some are discussing conversion of those import facilities to export facilities. However, the oil and gas industry is backing off that type of planning due to the realizaton that Europe and China have plenty of frackable resources.

Ultimately as fracking technology spreads, a global market become established with more uniform prices for NG, resulting in less incentive to export.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:04 PM   #18
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My only problem with fracking is the pollution of the underground water tables..
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Valiant View Post
My only problem with fracking is the pollution of the underground water tables..
someone will post soon about that being a myth.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:17 PM   #20
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Informed look at the groundwater contamination issue:

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/...t-the-problem/

The problems are:

1) the oil and gas business is extremely fragmented. There are literally hundreds of mom and pop drilling companies and not all of these are operated responsibly.
2) Therefore, proper installation and inspection of the the well doesn't always occur. This is where the big risk for groundwater contamination exists.
3) regulations vary a great deal from state to state. In some states the regulations are significant with good well inspection programs while in others the situation is much more lax. Resource development is profitable in both environments if the geology is favorable.

So if you are worried about groundwater contamination, better well head inspection programs is the key.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiant View Post
My only problem with fracking is the pollution of the underground water tables..
That's the same reason I oppose unicorn ranching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by penguinz View Post
someone will post soon about that being a myth.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #22
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It is a myth. The fracking takes place well below the water tables and is sealed in with casing. When people are affected it's from inappropriate disposal of wastewater and similar stuff, which creates problems that get blamed on the actual frac site.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Ambuehl View Post
It is a myth. The fracking takes place well below the water tables and is sealed in with casing. When people are affected it's from inappropriate disposal of wastewater and similar stuff, which creates problems that get blamed on the actual frac site.
Bad well casings and well heads are an issue too, as noted in the link I posted.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:25 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdcox View Post
Bad well casings and well heads are an issue too, as noted in the link I posted.
In your opinion, is there any significantly greater reason to fear the environmental impact of fracking than to fear that of poorly regulated oil extraction or nuclear energy production? Or for that matter, the disposal of chemical waste?
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:28 PM   #25
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you are correct. We don't need clean water fr crops or livestock.
Again, you are being overly-dramatic.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:30 PM   #26
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Big Oil's dirty little secret.

The gullibility and stupidity of Americans never ceases to amaze me.
It really isn't a secret. Even though some of this oil will be exported, it's still a beneficial thing for every American.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:34 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by B_Ambuehl View Post
It is a myth. The fracking takes place well below the water tables and is sealed in with casing. When people are affected it's from inappropriate disposal of wastewater and similar stuff, which creates problems that get blamed on the actual frac site.
So the video clips on you tube of people lighting their tap water on fire in the area of the country where fracking is occurring are all fake?
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:38 PM   #28
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Again, you are being overly-dramatic.
Nope
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:38 PM   #29
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Quote:
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My only problem with fracking is the pollution of the underground water tables..
That's the issue, for sure.

There are a ton of people who are very concerned over that particular problem.

In fact, it's possible that improper fracking can reduce our dependency on oil but increase our dependency on clean water (which, of course, is already a bit of an issue).

I'm not sure which is better; a full tank of gas, dying of thirst, or breaking out in giant, oozing, boils on the face.

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Old 11-23-2012, 02:39 PM   #30
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Nope
Okay, please show me one instance where fracking has lead to what you are apparently claiming.
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