Fracking…exactly how important is it?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
posted by elizabeth @ 11:09 PM

The world we live in today could not exist without oil and gas.  The oil and gas we are finding is more and more difficult to extract from the ground.   But, fracking has made it possible to get that oil and gas out of the ground.  Fracking is not the bad guy as some would have you believe.  There are those who want more regulations.  Many of the regulations they want are onerous and burdensome.  Some will go so far as to have it outlawed, completely prohibited.  They claim it is polluting water supplies. Although, there is no conclusive, solid, scientific evidence to prove their position.  Some states, like Vermont, have banned fracking all together.  But then again, I don’t recall any shale plays up in Vermont so we will let them reap the benefits of the men and women in states like Texas, North Dakota and Arkansas (just to name a few)  who work hard every day to manage safe and productive fracking sites.

Let’s imagine life without fracking and the oil and gas that comes from it.  For the sake of discussion we will call that oil and gas petroleum.  I guess we could do without our tablets, cell phones, game boys, lap tops, televisions and DVD players.  These are among the many products that depend on the petroleum that is extracted from the ground using fracking.  So you say you are not much into technology, entertainment and communication.  Okay, let’s imagine life without the safety that is built into our cars and trucks.  The cars and trucks we drive today are safe.  And why are they safe?   They are safe because they have lifesaving products and devices in them that are possible because we have petroleum.

While we are talking about life saving devices, let’s imagine life without the many medical products and devices that are lifesaving.  Some of these include defibrillators, heart pumps and oxygen masks. The list of medical devices and products that are life-saving is endless.  These are
possible because of the petroleum we are producing today, yes, by fracking.

The cheap natural gas that consumers and manufacturers have access to today benefits all of us. Consumers benefit because cheap gas means lower utility bills.  That air conditioner feels good on that hot August day when the temperature outside is on the verge of 100 degrees.  If it does actually get cold in Houston, that heater feels good too.  The other benefit of cheap gas is that manufacturers can make the products that we demand cheaper, which means the cost of the goods are cheaper.

Another benefit of fracking is that it provides value for the American family and our overall economy.  First there is the direct value.   This is jobs and value to the economy, individuals and families that comes from within the oil and gas industry.  Second, there is the indirect value.
This is jobs and value to the economy, individuals and families that comes from other industries the support the oil and gas industry.  Third, there is the induced value.  This is jobs and value to the economy, individuals and families that comes from families spending money earned from the oil and gas industry on products and services like dry cleaning, sporting events, clothing and cars and trucks.  It might also include money that we save and invest for our kids to go to college.  Since we are talking about saving and investing, the retirement accounts of most Americans is likely being invested in companies that are fracking.  This includes the retirement accounts of blue collar workers and white collar workers.  Come to think of it, any worker who puts money into a 401k or some type of retirement plan is likely invested in oil and gas or related companies or companies that must have petroleum to be successful.

Finally, there is the much cherished job.  The job numbers for the oil and gas industry are in the millions. They might be direct or indirect. But rest assured, millions of Americans get up each day and go to work because oil and gas companies frack.

I was thinking, maybe those who want to outlaw fracking are really, well, dare I say, modern day Luddites?

Comments are closed.