Global Warming Hysteria Will Kill Jobs; Hydraulic Fracturing Myths Threaten U.S. Economy
Byline: Paul Driessen, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have boosted shale gas production from zero a few years ago to 10 percent of all U.S. energy supplies in 2012, observes energy analyst Daniel Yergin. It has increased U.S. oil production 25 percent since 2008 despite more federal land and resource withdrawals, permitting delays and declining public land production.
In the process, the fracking revolution has created 1.7 million jobs in oil fields, equipment manufacturing, legal and information technology services, and other sectors. It will generate more than $60 billion this year in state and federal tax and royalty revenues, reduce America's oil import bill by $75 billion and save us $100 billion in imported liquefied natural gas, concludes a new International Monetary Fund Global Insight analysis.
A resurgent American petroleum industry could add as many as 3.6 million jobs by 2020, and increase the U.S. gross domestic product by as much as 3 percent, says Citigroup's Energy 2020 report. Fracking could make North America energy independent and turn the United States into the world's No. 1 oil producer in a few more years.
For people still concerned about catastrophic man-made global warming (despite 16 years of stable global temperatures), hydraulic fracturing helps cut carbon-dioxide emissions, using clean-burning natural gas that costs a third less than oil per British thermal unit.
Common sense says hydraulic fracturing should garner widespread public, political and even environmentalist support. Several states have banned it, however, and the Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Land Management are poised to unleash new rules that could usurp state control and restrict or hyperregulate fracking on federal, state and private lands.
They justify the bans and regulations by citing public anxiety over fracking - but fail to mention that this anxiety has been nurtured and orchestrated by environmental pressure groups whose fractured fairy tales about this technology would be as funny as Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon tales if the economic, employment, national security and environmental consequences weren't so serious.
Some of these fairy tales include:
* Burning tap water. You could ignite methane at your kitchen faucet if your water well was drilled through gas-bearing rock formations and not properly sealed to keep gas out. Fracking zones are thousands of feet below groundwater supplies, though. Production wells use cement and steel casing that extends hundreds of feet below the surface, and sensitive instruments monitor downhole activity to ensure that valuable gas does not escape into near-surface formations or the atmosphere.
* Groundwater contamination. Fracking fluids are 99.5 percent water and sand. The other 0.5 percent are chemicals that fight bacterial growth, keep sand particles suspended and improve production. The vast majority of these chemicals can be found in household items that Americans use safely every day, including cheese, beer, canned fish, dairy desserts, shampoo and cosmetic products. …