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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 11-24-2012, 09:37 AM   #76
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I like a good frack as much as the next guy, but I am also acutely aware of and will no longer underestimate the sheer power of greed.

I'm sure that we had a whole passel of awesomely cool regulations designed to prevent the Gulf Of Mexico from becoming a giant wok, too. Point being; regardless of how many rules you make, you can be certain that somebody, somewhere, some time down the line will cheat or forget or feign incompetence in order to clear a few more bucks and the result will be millions of dead animals and hundreds of thousands of Americans bathing in imported Chinese beer.

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Old 11-24-2012, 09:51 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by FAX View Post
I like a good frack as much as the next guy, but I am also acutely aware of and will no longer underestimate the sheer power of greed.

I'm sure that we had a whole passel of awesomely cool regulations designed to prevent the Gulf Of Mexico from becoming a giant wok, too. Point being; regardless of how many rules you make, you can be certain that somebody, somewhere, some time down the line will cheat or forget or feign incompetence in order to clear a few more bucks and the result will be millions of dead animals and hundreds of thousands of Americans bathing in imported Chinese beer.

FAX
Yep. But BP paid dearly. Was it enough to change their behavior in the future? Maybe not. However, us all being humans and all, we are going to screw things up. We'll try to make things right, but we we'll screw that up as well. But I don't know what else to do but to go forward and keep trying. I'd much rather go forward with well regulated NG that depend on coal. And I'd rather use coal that nothing. Renewables can play a role, but they can't deliver all the power we need when we need it right now. Right now, NG is the cleanest technology that we have that can reliably deliver the power we need for our way of living. Of all the bad options, it seems the least bad.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:08 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by cdcox View Post
Yep. But BP paid dearly. Was it enough to change their behavior in the future? Maybe not. However, us all being humans and all, we are going to screw things up. We'll try to make things right, but we we'll screw that up as well. But I don't know what else to do but to go forward and keep trying. I'd much rather go forward with well regulated NG that depend on coal. And I'd rather use coal that nothing. Renewables can play a role, but they can't deliver all the power we need when we need it right now. Right now, NG is the cleanest technology that we have that can reliably deliver the power we need for our way of living. Of all the bad options, it seems the least bad.
I don't disagree, Mr. cdcox. Not one bit. I don't hug trees every day or anything, but I'm just ... I don't know ... skeptical, I guess.

A lot of people view frackage as totally manageable and safe technology ... and it may be very soon (I don't think it's there yet). However, if there's one thing that big, enormous, oil companies know how to do, it's squirm their way through fine print in order to gain an advantage.

The problem in this case is that a bad fracking problem could have very, very serious and long-lasting ramifications that could dramatically affect the quality of life for a whole lot of people (not to mention livestock and crops). And, of course, after the fan is thoroughly doused in feces, the oil company executives won't give a damn because they won't have to live with the consequences of their actions ... just the residents of whatever locality they've ecologically destroyed.

That's probably an over-statement, but you get the idea.

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Old 11-24-2012, 03:41 PM   #79
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I must admit, you are confusing the hell out of me right now, Dane. I wasn't being political at all if that is what you are saying.
I'm not saying that you're being political. I'm saying that the masses are constantly fooled into believing that the POTUS somehow has an affect on gasoline and oil prices.

If public lands were to be opened up to oil companies and production were increased, there is absolutely no guarantee that prices at the pump would be considerably reduced, nor are there any guarantees that the oil extracted from public land would be available exclusively to Americans.

That's the dirty secret.

Cold fusion is the answer. Until then, nuclear fission plants should be everywhere.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:51 PM   #80
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:54 PM   #81
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until the fracking fluid gets into the water table and we start giving birth to 3-headed babies.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:57 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by FAX View Post
I don't disagree, Mr. cdcox. Not one bit. I don't hug trees every day or anything, but I'm just ... I don't know ... skeptical, I guess.

A lot of people view frackage as totally manageable and safe technology ... and it may be very soon (I don't think it's there yet). However, if there's one thing that big, enormous, oil companies know how to do, it's squirm their way through fine print in order to gain an advantage.

The problem in this case is that a bad fracking problem could have very, very serious and long-lasting ramifications that could dramatically affect the quality of life for a whole lot of people (not to mention livestock and crops). And, of course, after the fan is thoroughly doused in feces, the oil company executives won't give a damn because they won't have to live with the consequences of their actions ... just the residents of whatever locality they've ecologically destroyed.

That's probably an over-statement, but you get the idea.

FAX
Fracking sounds like an outstanding solution as long as it doesn't occur within 1000 miles or so of my home.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:15 PM   #83
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Fracking sounds like an outstanding solution as long as it doesn't occur within 1000 miles or so of my home.
you really think that 1000 miles is going to save you if enough of it gets into the water table?
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:21 PM   #84
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I apparently don't understand water filtering.

So I turn on my water tap. In my case, that water started out on top of a mountain, and then it flowed down and went into a reservoir. Then it flowed down a big rock tunnel to Denver, went through a bunch of pipes, and via some sort of magic it comes out of my sink.

At some point in that process, that water got treated, right? Someone had to filter the water bugs out of it and the giardia and stuff. Are there things that a filter can't get out? Or is the problem figuring out what to do with the stuff that gets filtered out?

I've seen simple filtering systems in survival kits that are basically a plastic tent. You let the water evaporate inside it, and it recondenses in the heat on the tent. Then it drips down and you drink it. The stuff that recondenses is presumably two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. It contains no water bugs or giardia or fracking solutions, and the filtering costs nothing.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:31 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
I'm not saying that you're being political. I'm saying that the masses are constantly fooled into believing that the POTUS somehow has an affect on gasoline and oil prices.

If public lands were to be opened up to oil companies and production were increased, there is absolutely no guarantee that prices at the pump would be considerably reduced, nor are there any guarantees that the oil extracted from public land would be available exclusively to Americans.

That's the dirty secret.

Cold fusion is the answer. Until then, nuclear fission plants should be everywhere.
There are never any guarantees, but it's highly likely that opening public land up for drilling would expand supply and Econ 101 says that would put downward pressure on prices.

Whether the oil was consumed domestically isn't very relevant.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:35 PM   #86
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I apparently don't understand water filtering.

So I turn on my water tap. In my case, that water started out on top of a mountain, and then it flowed down and went into a reservoir. Then it flowed down a big rock tunnel to Denver, went through a bunch of pipes, and via some sort of magic it comes out of my sink.

At some point in that process, that water got treated, right? Someone had to filter the water bugs out of it and the giardia and stuff. Are there things that a filter can't get out? Or is the problem figuring out what to do with the stuff that gets filtered out?

I've seen simple filtering systems in survival kits that are basically a plastic tent. You let the water evaporate inside it, and it recondenses in the heat on the tent. Then it drips down and you drink it. The stuff that recondenses is presumably two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. It contains no water bugs or giardia or fracking solutions, and the filtering costs nothing.
Big Water won't let cheap filtering solutions come to market because it cuts into their bottom line. They're also blocking space-age technologies that would let us "cut the pipe" and drink our own home-recycled urine.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:40 PM   #87
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Big Water won't let cheap filtering solutions come to market because it cuts into their bottom line. They're also blocking space-age technologies that would let us "cut the pipe" and drink our own home-recycled urine.
That would indeed be the solution. We could be a bunch of closed loops, plus it would be great research for the space program.

I do find it interesting to hear about "water shortages". Again, I suspect that I'm naive, but the earth is more or less a closed system. The water that we're drinking right now is the same water that a woolly mammoth drank 30,000 years ago, and the same water than one of those six-foot scorpions drank 500 million years ago. Based on my fifth-grade science class with Mrs. Carder at Hickory Hills Elementary School, water follows a big cycle from clouds to rain to rivers to ocean to clouds. So it seems like we would never have a water shortage the way it's portrayed. It's just being stored in another part of the cycle.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:44 PM   #88
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That would indeed be the solution. We could be a bunch of closed loops, plus it would be great research for the space program.

I do find it interesting to hear about "water shortages". Again, I suspect that I'm naive, but the earth is more or less a closed system. The water that we're drinking right now is the same water that a woolly mammoth drank 30,000 years ago, and the same water than one of those six-foot scorpions drank 500 million years ago. Based on my fifth-grade science class with Mrs. Carder at Hickory Hills Elementary School, water follows a big cycle from clouds to rain to rivers to ocean to clouds. So it seems like we would never have a water shortage the way it's portrayed. It's just being stored in another part of the cycle.
Yeah, I guess it's a matter of getting it to the place you want to use it.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:52 PM   #89
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That would indeed be the solution. We could be a bunch of closed loops, plus it would be great research for the space program.

I do find it interesting to hear about "water shortages". Again, I suspect that I'm naive, but the earth is more or less a closed system. The water that we're drinking right now is the same water that a woolly mammoth drank 30,000 years ago, and the same water than one of those six-foot scorpions drank 500 million years ago. Based on my fifth-grade science class with Mrs. Carder at Hickory Hills Elementary School, water follows a big cycle from clouds to rain to rivers to ocean to clouds. So it seems like we would never have a water shortage the way it's portrayed. It's just being stored in another part of the cycle.
There are more people and fewer sources of safe drinking water.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:31 PM   #90
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Cold fusion is the answer. Until then, nuclear fission plants should be everywhere.
Fixed. "Cold" fusion is currently a complete fantasy... "HOT" fusion on the other hand is very real and nearing a level where we can produce substantial energy yields.

Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion is currently the most exciting. We'll know by this time next year if the theories regarding it are viable. In theory, a MagLIF reactor could produce a 1000x return on energy expended. Combine this with the massive tech leaps we are starting to make in energy storage and you really WILL have a new golden age. It's criminal how little we spend on this research. I can't imagine any single thing that is more important to our national security.
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