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Old 11-23-2012, 02:11 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 11-25-2012, 09:36 AM   #106
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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.
Surprised you'd admit to succumbing to such facile propaganda.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:09 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by cdcox View Post
Even if we had unlimited solar and wind, there are real infrastructure and technology limitations that prevent us from using 100% renewables at this time.

Electricity has to be generated the instant there is demand for it. If there is demand when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing, it cannot be met.

We need to develop electrical storage technologies and smart grid to increase renewable usage above a certain fraction. Plus we need better grid infrastructure. All this is under development, but it is some time off. Natural gas is far, far better than coal in the meantime.
Agree with first bolded, but to fair, as to the second, there are reservoirs, flywheels, compressed air, batteries, and liquefied hydrogen
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:11 AM   #108
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srsly, you'd think we are in an energy shortage century. we are not. the crooks just keep a bottleneck in the process to rape folk$. If y'all think that's going to change in some peaceful way with the crooks in charge, god help ya.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:21 AM   #109
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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
The broad outlines of this argument could be applied to most every human endeavor outside of participating in drum circles.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:25 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
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.
Reminds me of that guy in college who would bitch about guys in the dorm wing showers for not turning off the water when soaping and shampooing because they were wasting water.

He'd keep bitching no matter how many times he was asked 'where did this wasted water disappear to?'
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:36 AM   #111
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**** Fracking.


Build a Dyson Sphere.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:55 AM   #112
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**** Fracking.


Build a Dyson Sphere.
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I wish I always ended up at gay bars.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:56 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
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.
Worth a watch...

http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/
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I wish I always ended up at gay bars.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:09 AM   #114
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Agree with first bolded, but to fair, as to the second, there are reservoirs, flywheels, compressed air, batteries, and liquefied hydrogen
I'm only familiar with reservoirs being applied on a commercial scale for electrical power storage presently. I think there are relatively few new geographical locations that can support that technology. All of the others you mentioned need to be developed and demonstrated at commercial scale as I mentioned in my post. Of the options listed, it seems liquefied hydrogen might have the best potential at large scale. I think we will eventually get there, but if we had the solar and wind capability today, we would not have the storage and infrastructure in place to do away with fossil fuels for some time.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:11 AM   #115
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Oh stop it.


Fussion -- always 50 years around the corner.
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