27 June 2011

What the Frack?

Have you ever heard of fracking? It isn't a euphemism for something unmentionable on a family blog like mine. It is the name for a process used to release natural gas from once-thought-unprofitable deposits.

While at a meeting a few weeks ago, I heard an industry expert explain how a significant investment in improving the nation's natural gas infrastructure could significantly reduce our reliance on petroleum. This would have a tremendous impact on our economic and national security.

The method is not without its detractors, but as this WSJ editorial explains, the potential benefits appear to justify them.

The question for the rest of us is whether we are serious about domestic energy production. All forms of energy have risks and environmental costs, not least wind (noise and dead birds and bats) and solar (vast expanses of land). Yet renewables are nowhere close to supplying enough energy, even with large subsidies, to maintain America's standard of living. The shale gas and oil boom is the result of U.S. business innovation and risk-taking. If we let the fear of undocumented pollution kill this boom, we will deserve our fate as a second-class industrial power.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fracking has been a huge topic in Pennsylvania as the pros and cons are revealed. I don't quite know what to make of all of it yet even after being exposed to so much opinion. IMHO the ship has already sailed on our being a second-class industrial power. I think we should cautiously examine all aspects of this...not to death in committee...just go slow.