October 9, 2014

FASTER, PLEASE: Shale Boom Has America Sitting Pretty.

The shale revolution has quickly and completely remade America’s energy landscape, leaving us in a much stronger position, both economically and geopolitically, than where we found ourselves just a decade ago. . . .

Cheap energy is key for economic growth, and a glut of natural gas is leading to a kind of small renaissance in American manufacturing, especially in energy-intensive industries. More fracking means more gas, lower prices, and growth potential for firms that use that gas. And then there’s the geopolitical aspect of the shale boom. . . .

America is poised to become the world’s top liquid petroleum producer, supplanting perennial hydrocarbon powerhouses like Russia and Saudi Arabia. Where just a decade ago we were busy building liquified natural gas (LNG) import terminals, now we’re busy converting those facilities to handle exports, and the possibility of opening up crude exports has entered the American energy discussion.

By lessening our dependence on foreign sources of oil and gas, the shale boom has given us more options abroad, and in some cases, as is intimated in the NYT story, has given America more clout in diplomatic standoffs.

There’s an economic success story here, and a geopolitical one as well—and both come courtesy of fracking.

And both come without any assistance from — and in fact in the face of some opposition from — the Obama Administration. Imagine what a competent president could do.

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