Energy Independence from Fracking

Many experts are now joining the chorus of those who predict North America could become energy independent within ten years.

This became evident at recent Congressional hearings.

Notable examples of what was told Congress include,

  • The United States has already passed Russia as the number two oil producer in the World. Only Saudi Arabia produces more oil than the United States.
  • Crude oil imports have been reduced from 60% of consumption to 45% because of fracking.
  • U.S. natural gas reserves have grown from a seven-year supply to a supply that can last for over 100 years, again because of fracking.
  • Citigroup has suggested that between 2 million and 3.5 million new jobs can be created because of the huge reserves of low-cost natural gas that have been brought about because of fracking.
  • Becoming energy independent can cut the current account deficit by two-thirds. This will have huge economic benefits for the United States, since this money can be used to invest in infrastructure at home rather than exporting dollars to the Mideast.

Examples of the benefits that fracking has produced are the restart of the Dow Chemical ethylene plant, the reopening of a large ammonia plant in Beaumont, Texas, and CF Industries planned $1 billion investment in a new ammonia plant.

But all these good things can only happen if the government will get out of the way.

Private industry developed fracking when the government wasn’t looking.

EPA’s excessive regulations, the government’s withholding of federal lands from drilling and the government’s obsession with CO2 emissions, are but three examples of how the government is keeping the United States from becoming energy independent.

The war against coal is now the war against fossil fuels. Here is how the Sierra Club portrays the issue:

“Fossil fuels have no part in America’s energy future – coal, oil and natural gas are literally poisoning us. The emergence of natural gas as a significant part of our energy mix is particularly frightening because it dangerously postpones investment in clean energy at a time when we should be doubling down on wind, solar and energy efficiency.”
Robin Mann, Sierra Club President

This administration seems to be following Europe’s lead with respect to energy policy.

Many countries in Europe have attacked and even banned fracking. The EU is proposing a European-wide ban on fracking. This, in spite of Europe’s becoming ever more dependent on Russian gas. Meanwhile, Russia isn’t hesitating to utilize fracking to bolster its oil and natural gas industries.

Europe’s energy policy is focused on cutting CO2 emissions 80% by 2050.

These are the same objectives stated by the EPA in its war against fossil fuels. It’s the main reason, i.e., to stop CO2 emissions from the production of oil from tar sands, that the government blocked the Keystone pipeline.

If government will get out of the way the United States, in combination with Canada, can become energy independent within the next ten years.

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0 Replies to “Energy Independence from Fracking”

  1. Donn,

    Thanks for the quote from Robin Mann, Sierra Club President-

    “Fossil fuels have no part in America’s energy future – coal, oil and natural gas are literally poisoning us. The emergence of natural gas as a significant part of our energy mix is particularly frightening because it dangerously postpones investment in clean energy at a time when we should be doubling down on wind, solar and energy efficiency.”
    —Robin Mann, Sierra Club President”

    I have a feeling that Robin is not aware of how CA plans on keeping the lights when we double down on RE, as part of our 33%RES and implementation of AB 32. We plan on using natural gas as the fuel source for our large utility scale generation plants to ensure we have sufficient generation capacity for when the sun it’s out or the wind isn’t blowing.

    From a cost effectiveness perspective (opportunity costs) as well as a reduction in CO2 perspective “doubling down on wind, solar and energy efficiency” is likely the wrong way to go as the market is responding to the energy independence that low cost natural gas is providing us as noted in this recent post-

    “Brattle Report Projects Doubled Coal Retirement Estimates Ascribed to Low Gas Prices”
    http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/5036.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2535577&hq_l=4&hq_v=bb09315ba5

    “An update to a 2010 analysis on the market and regulatory outlook facing coal-fired power plants in the U.S. from economists at The Brattle Group forsees that 59 GW to 77 GW of coal plant capacity are likely to retire over the next five years—about 25 GW more than previously estimated—due primarily to lower expected natural gas prices.

    The report titled “Potential Coal Plant Retirements: 2012 Update” notes that as of July 2012, about 30 GW (or 10% of total coal capacity) had already announced plans to retire by 2016. The report’s new estimates take into account how the decrease in spot and forward gas prices, combined with low demand for power, have reduced projected energy margins and costs of replacement power.”………

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