Marcellus Fracking Means Farewell to Dems in 2020
With Quid Pro Joe Biden's confession to using U.S. resources to pressure a foreign government to benefit his son, maybe in the next Democrat debate, one of the questions will be why, if fossil fuels are evil, the Democrats are committed to ending their use, and we have a decade or so to live before we freeze our hoohahs to death, it was okay for Hunter Biden to sit on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas holding company. Seems Hunter had his very own greenback new deal.
As President Trump's speech at the Shale Insight Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Wednesday noted, Joe Biden's mythical claim that Trump inherited a booming economy from President Obama falls flat in the face of the reality that this is Trump's economy, fueled by deregulation, tax cuts, cutting of EPA shackles, and a booming energy industry allowed to use the latest technology to free a seemingly endless supply of oil and natural gas from the earth under our feet. The conference was staged by some very appreciative energy groups such as the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, and the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association.
This energy abundance has put downward pressure on energy costs for consumers and industry and made us energy independent and immune from Middle East instability, quite possibly preventing a global oil recession or major war with the likes of a belligerent and aggressive Iran.
While noting that he has opened up ANWR in Alaska for exploration and development, exited the job-killing and economy-choking Paris Climate Accord, and green-lighted the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, Trump pointed out the economic benefits shale development in general and the Marcellus shale formation stretching beneath Pennsylvania in particular as most significant, noting that the Dems have promised to ban fracking of shale rock to release the vast quantities of oil and natural gas within. Trump warned that the Democrats want to take away our energy as well as our guns and that the current prosperity spawned by shale and facking could end. As noted by David Lenery at The Center Square:
"A thriving energy industry ... [is] an enormous benefit to citizens all across our country, all across our land," Trump said. "According to the Council of Economic Advisers, who cannot even believe the numbers and the success that we're having, the astonishing increase in production made possible by shale, and the shale revolution, saves Americans $203 billion every year, or $2,500 for a family of four in lower electric bills, lower prices, and at the gas pump."
"Many politicians in our country are targeting your industry and your jobs for literally total destruction," he told the shale industry workers assembled at the conference. "Whether you like it or not, that's where they're going. ... Virtually every leading Democrat is pledged to entirely eliminate fossil fuels, wiping out American production of oil and coal and natural gas, and by the way, jobs. These Democrat plans would obliterate millions of American jobs, devastating communities across Pennsylvania, and bankrupting families all across our nation."
Leading that pack of Dark Age advocates is Sen. Elizabeth Warren. In contrast, David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Association, noted on Fox and Friends the success of Trump's unleashing American energy:
Spigelmyer said not long ago, the United States was "60 percent dependent on foreign sources of energy. Today, the country is "awash in natural gas" and moving toward energy independence.
"It was an honor to have the president here in Pittsburgh again to talk about now an area that's supplying a third of the nation's natural gas supply," he said, lamenting Sen. Elizabeth Warren's pledge to ban fracking if she is elected president in 2020.
Be afraid; be very afraid. According to a 2016 report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the economy would suffer dramatically if lawmakers banned fracking:
"A fracking ban would be a disaster for the U.S. economy, exceeding the economic harm caused by the financial crisis, the housing bust, and the Great Recession — combined," the report said. "Those concurrent events cost the United States around 8 million jobs. A ban on fracturing would destroy more than 14 million jobs, all while raising costs for families and considerably reducing American energy security."
A 2019 report by the National Association of State Energy officials noted that thanks to fracking, the natural gas industry employed directly some 625,000 Americans in good, high-paying jobs. Those jobs would vanish under a Warren ban. The consequences of a fracking ban would be economically devastating. According to the Washington Free Beacon:
The spike in energy prices would raise the cost of living by $4,000 a year, and household incomes would drop by $873 billion. The report concluded the U.S. gross domestic product would be reduced by $1.6 trillion.
Texas (1,499,000 jobs lost), Pennsylvania (466,000), Ohio (397,000), and Colorado (215,000) would see more than a combined 2.5 million jobs lost from a fracking ban alone over that span, the report said, taking into consideration its effect on energy prices, incomes, manufacturing, and energy security[.] ...
A separate report from the American Petroleum Institute concluded bans on fracking, fossil fuel production, and other "keep it in the ground" policies would cost 5.9 million jobs and a cumulative GDP reduction of $11.8 trillion. The trade group found the losses would stem from lower economic growth due to lower domestic energy production.
Fracking does not cause earthquakes. Nor does it taint well water. The mixture used to fracture shale is in fact a benign blend of 90% water, 9.5% sand, and 0.5% chemicals such as the sodium chloride of table salt and the citric acid of the orange juice you had for breakfast.
Shale formations in which fracking is employed are thousands of feet deep. Drinking water aquifers are generally only 100 feet deep. There is a lot of solid rock between them.
It is fracking that has produced a boom in the production of natural gas, a fossil fuel that has produced a significant reduction in the U.S. of so-called "greenhouse gases." As the Washington Times reported:
White House senior advisor Brian Deese cheered the falling carbon dioxide levels at a Monday press conference without mentioning the outsize role played by natural gas, as the cleaner-burning fuel increasingly overtakes coal in electricity generation.
"For those of you who are not breathlessly following the most recent data that has come out, I would note recent data that we've seen suggests or finds that for the first half of 2016, energy sector emissions in the United States are actually down 6 percent from last year, and 15 percent from 2005," said Mr. Deese. "And they're at their lowest level in nearly 20 years."
He said nothing about the U.S. natural gas boom, an omission that critics say has become par for the course as the Obama administration highlights renewable energy and emissions restrictions without acknowledging the role of fracking in natural gas extraction.
"To add dishonesty to injury, his administration is bragging about the reduced CO2 emissions of [the] U.S. industry without crediting the fracking for natural gas, a fossil fuel, that largely caused it," said Alex Epstein, author of the book "The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels."
The Democrats have no case, moral or otherwise, for banning fracking, which would ironically hurt the environment they allegedly want to heal while creating an economic collapse. If they insist on advocating, they will be caught between shale rock and a hard place.
Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor's Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.