The United States has become the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
You may have missed this important story. That’s because the media virtually ignored it.
Fracking has become a dirty word in much of the media because of protests from environmentalists and Hollywood stars about the unproven charges of water contamination and environmental damage.
Fracking uses water, mixed with sand and chemicals, injected at high pressure to create small fractures to remove natural gas and oil — a technology that has been around since the 1940s but one whose use has exploded in recent years.
When you drive on Interstate 476 near Scranton, Pa., you see towering windmills, the “clean” energy solution favored by environmentalists that contributes less than 1 percent of Pennsylvania’s power. But the blades of the wind-powered turbines kill bald eagles and bats, which farmers complain caused a huge increase in insects that the bats would eat. Nearby, more than 1,000 fracking sites have produced the following results, according to the Pennsylvania state officials:
• The jobs pay an average of $62,000 a year — about $20,000 more than the state average.
• A recent study of what is known as the “Marcellus shale” formation which produces the fracked fuel has created more than 70,000 jobs in the past four years and could support more than 200,000 jobs.
Here is the reality: With more fracking, natural gas and oil prices will decline. Gasoline prices will drop. The U.S. dependence on foreign oil should decline to 25 percent by 2016 from 37 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The use of coal will drop with the increased use of a cleaner energy source: natural gas.
But the media persist in supporting the protests because some well-heeled philanthropists, environmentalists and movie stars make unproven claims, despite the obvious advantages of fracking.
Full article: HARPER: A fracking good story missed by the media (The Washington Times)