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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, 09:17 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by the_spatula View Post
I truly believe that my generation is going to be the one to stand up and put an end to the issues being posed by our reliance on combustible, non-renewable fuels as our energy sources.

The buck has to stop somewhere, and I think it will when the current generation dies off.
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.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:23 PM   #62
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I guess I'm going to have to move forward with inventing cold fusion. It's really the only reasonable solution to the energy problems facing humanity. I've been putting it off, but I suppose I need to go ahead get it done.

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Old 11-23-2012, 09:51 PM   #63
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yeah! get er done, mr. fax!!!
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:34 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
yeah! get er done, mr. fax!!!
Okay. Step one is completed, Mr. go bowe. I made a bunch of ice in the ice maker. In fact, the little container thing is overflowing with little half-moons of ice.

Now that that's done, I am already half-way to cold fusion. I just need to find something to fuse. I'll keep you posted.

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Old 11-23-2012, 11:53 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by FAX View Post
Okay. Step one is completed, Mr. go bowe. I made a bunch of ice in the ice maker. In fact, the little container thing is overflowing with little half-moons of ice.

Now that that's done, I am already half-way to cold fusion. I just need to find something to fuse. I'll keep you posted.

FAX
Vodka should be considered for step two. If you suggest decent Scotch with ice, the erasers will visit your homestead presently.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:54 PM   #66
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:24 AM   #67
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:38 AM   #68
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:02 AM   #69
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:37 AM   #70
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I'm sure the energy companies will take all of the environmental issues into consideration and proceed as responsibly as they've always done.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:38 AM   #71
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I'm sure the energy companies will take all of the environmental issues into consideration and proceed as responsibly as they've always done.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:19 AM   #72
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I'm sure the energy companies will take all of the environmental issues into consideration and proceed as responsibly as they've always done.
Which begs the question; If the energy companies over-frack, can they make the entire planet explode? 'Cause that would be bad for the fishes and water fowl.

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Old 11-24-2012, 08:19 AM   #73
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I'm sure the energy companies will take all of the environmental issues into consideration and proceed as responsibly as they've always done.
Of course they won't, that's why we need regulations. As Aries Walker said, regs are presently lagging behind the technology and vary greatly from state to state. Right now, many of their operations are exempt from the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Clean Air Act. There may be reasons for not applying those acts to the drilling industry, but that doesn't mean they should be completely unregulated. Done well, natural gas has the potential to be far greener than coal at competitive cost.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:40 AM   #74
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Of course they won't, that's why we need regulations. As Aries Walker said, regs are presently lagging behind the technology and vary greatly from state to state. Right now, many of their operations are exempt from the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Clean Air Act. There may be reasons for not applying those acts to the drilling industry, but that doesn't mean they should be completely unregulated. Done well, natural gas has the potential to be far greener than coal at competitive cost.
Just throwing things out there , aren't you.

Link ? Exempt from the Clean Water & Air Act ?

Yes, Natural Gas is our future for energy independence in the US

Drilling companies have to follow guidelines & regulations. Currently because of the fear of fracking, Chesapeake & Hughs Baker are both working on an environmentally safe foam fracking fluid that will secure the water safety even further that what it is today.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:31 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by ROYC75 View Post
Just throwing things out there , aren't you.

Link ? Exempt from the Clean Water & Air Act ?

Yes, Natural Gas is our future for energy independence in the US

Drilling companies have to follow guidelines & regulations. Currently because of the fear of fracking, Chesapeake & Hughs Baker are both working on an environmentally safe foam fracking fluid that will secure the water safety even further that what it is today.
http://www.ewg.org/reports/Free-Pass...try-Exemptions

I'm in favor of fracking. It just needs to be regulated properly.
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