The Purpose of This Bl;og

By and large, liberals are very decent, kind, and compassionate people who genuinely want what is best. This should be kept in mind as we explore the Law of Unintended Negative Consequences near invariably resulting from Leftist big-hearted solutions to societal problems.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Obama Energy - Fracking

Leftist environmentalist have long been known for their disdain of fossil fuels, not just in terms of the wide-spread and presumably environment-unfriendly use of those fuels, but also the alleged problematic locations and means for extracting them--including fracking.

According to wikipedia, "Induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a technique in which typically water is mixed with sand and chemicals, and the mixture is injected at high pressure into a wellbore to create small fractures (typically less than 1mm), along which fluids such as gas, petroleum, uranium-bearing solution, and brine water may migrate to the well. Hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, then small grains of proppant (sand or aluminium oxide) hold these fractures open once the rock achieves equilibrium...This well stimulation is only conducted once in the life of the well and greatly enhances fluid removal and well productivity." (See HERE)

The reason fracking has been a heated public issue is because, on the one hand it has been immensely advantages (see below), while on the other hand "Hydraulic fracturing has raised environmental concerns and is challenging the adequacy of existing regulatory regimes. These concerns have included ground water contamination, risks to air quality, migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, mishandling of waste, and the health effects of all these, as well as its contribution to raised atmospheric CO2 levels by enabling the extraction of previously-sequestered hydrocarbons." (ibid)

Ronald Bailey has noted: "Matt Damon’s new film Promised Land is stoking the controversy over fracking, the shorthand for natural gas production using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The film pits a big natural gas production company against economically stressed farmers in a Pennsylvania community who are being offered lots of money to permit drilling on their land. To illustrate the alleged evils of fracking, an environmental activist sets a model farm on fire in an elementary class." (See HERE) (See also HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

In the minds of many people, these environmental and safety concerns have either been addressed or shown to be unwarranted given improved safety techniques: "today’s practices are even much better than those 60 years ago. Yet people in Washington still attempt to conjure up a problem that hasn’t been evidenced in six decades to justify seizures of more powers from local and state governments. Agencies are looking at everything from groundwater pollution to earthquakes risks, trying to figure out a creative new way to squeeze the federal government’s camel nose under the tent of a world-changing energy revolution. Fracking is largely responsible for a new natural gas miracle. But if the federal government is successful in these power grabs, that miracle will likely end, representing a disastrous loss of economic and job opportunities, not only for the states containing that great resource treasure, but for the entire nation." (See HERE and HERE)

In spite of the presumed environmental concerns, not all liberal environmentalist are entirely against fracking--most notably President Obama. In fact, he has "endorsed the new production" (see HERE)--likely due to political expediency (see HERE), in large part because fracking has been and is projected to be such an enormous boon to energy and the economy. (See HERE and HERE and HERE)

Forbes reports: "The result is that our exports of petroleum products are up nearly 150% in three years to a record $140 billion. As hyperbolic as the increase in oil production has been, so has the decrease in our petroleum trade deficit, falling from $360 billion a year ago to an annual rate of $224 billion today (less than half the $500 billion annual oil deficit of 2008). his [Obama] is an awesome accomplishment. And it is all thanks to fracking. Without the techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, this Great American Oil & Gas Boom would simply not exist....Thanks to fracking, lower natural gas prices already save consumers $100 billion a year – far more than any crumbs the federal government might want to dole out." (See HERE)

A Bloomberg economist has noted: "Surging oil and natural gas production bought on by hydraulic fracturing is lifting the U.S. economy by lowering energy costs for consumers and manufacturers, according an industry-funded report. In 2012, the energy boom supported 2.1 million jobs, added almost US$75-billion in federal and state revenues, contributed US$283-billion to the gross domestic product and lifted household income by more than US$1,200, according to the report released today from IHS CERA. The competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturers from lower fuel prices will raise industrial production by 3.5 percent by the end of the decade, said the report from CERA, which provides business advice for energy companies." (See HERE) (See also HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

However, the Leftist LUNCs of Obama's fracking position is that, as reported by Sean Cockerham, "it leaves both sides grumbling." (See HERE and HERE)

Sean stated that, "Environmental activists like David Braun said they volunteered for Obama’s election campaign and now feel like the president is turning their backs on them. 'It’s time for him to represent those who elected him, not big oil and gas,' said Braun, an anti-fracking organizer from New York. 'While it’s admirable that the president wants to tackle climate change, fracking has no place in any plan to combat it.' Anti-fracking protesters greeted Obama on Friday as he toured upstate New York to promote a college affordability plan. A large number lined the road into Obama’s town hall event at Binghamton University with signs, some saying 'No Fracking Way.'” (ibid, see also HERE and HERE and HERE)

On the other side, advocates for the oil and gas industry believe that Obama's fracking regulations, if implemented as initially proposed, would, among other things, "add at least $1.2 billion to the cost of new wells in 13 states." (See HEREa) Other reports put the figure closer to $1.6 billion. (See HERE and HERE)  And, even in their current scaled-back form and postponed to 2015 (see HERE and HERE and HERE), the regulations still draw criticism. The Wall Street Journal posted: "Industry groups, while welcoming several revisions to the rules since they were first proposed in 2012, say federal regulation is still unnecessary and costly. They say that there is no evidence of groundwater pollution, and that the rules could damp the drilling boom that has made the U.S. the world's largest producer of natural gas." (See HERE) (See also HERE and HERE and HERE)

For an explanation as to why these Leftist energy LUNCs occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, and Victimization

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