Fracking has made America energy independent and wealthier. And yet, environmental zealots and the establishment press have put a bounty on hydraulic fracturing in the name of climate change – and so it has returned to the news cycle amid the 2020 presidential election. However, for millions of Americans, trying to understand the issue of fracking is like former Vice President Joe Biden trying to read the words on a teleprompter: It is just too hard. So, what is fracking? And why has it helped the United States?
Fracking: A Primer
Hydraulic fracturing has been around for more than 60 years, but the process has become more widespread this century in both the U.S. and around the world. Fracking consists of drilling down into the earth and injecting water, sand, and chemicals into the rock at high pressure to let the energy source flow out. It is executed either vertically or by drilling horizontally to the rock layer, which has unleashed an ocean of energy, making the world endure a supply glut. So much for peak oil, huh?
Since the 1960s or 1970s, presidents have promised to make the United States less reliant on foreign oil. Administrations did not want to be beholden to other countries, particularly those in the Middle East. It was not until President Donald Trump came into office that the U.S. officially kicked the foreign oil habit and consumed the energy it produces. No longer does America need to bow to Middle Eastern despots, threatening the foundation of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Fracking has led to a plethora of other benefits besides geopolitical advantages.
It is estimated that about 500,000 jobs have been created directly because of fracking. Moreover, tens of thousands of additional positions have indirectly been produced because of the energy extraction method. Fracking has added about $600 billion to the total U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Market observers note that roughly two-thirds of total domestic output originated from fracking, allowing the U.S. to become a net energy exporter for the first time in 70 years.
But the U.S. must be suffocating from all that pollution, right? Liberty Nation reported in October 2019:
“Experts say that the long-term impact is unclear, but for now, fracking has led to fewer carbon emissions and a decline in air pollution. This is evident in the data that shows CO2 emissions are at their lowest levels since the early 1990s, which is a remarkable feat because we were told that the only way to achieve this is through public policy, signing on to virtue-signaling global accords, and taxing cow emissions.”
Despite what the environmental fanatics espouse, natural gas is a cleaner, cheaper, and more environmentally-friendly form of energy. As the U.S. transitions away from coal and into this so-called bridge fuel, other nations are catching on – an international trend that would help Mother Nature. And you can thank fracking for facilitating this development.
Blowing Hot Air
President Trump’s position on fracking and other energy markets has been clear: Frack, baby, frack!
His opponent, however, has been less than forthright regarding his intention to support or ban fracking. During the Democratic primary season, the former vice president made it clear that he wanted to eliminate fracking to advance the environmentalist agenda. According to Biden, there was no room for fossil fuels in his administration. Perhaps because this position did not poll well, Biden did a pivot and announced in Pennsylvania that he would not prohibit fracking, accusing President Trump of lying about his previous statements, even though they are well documented. Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), also pledged to eliminate fracking. During the vice-presidential debate, though, she insisted that the new administration would not take these steps. Is the Biden-Harris campaign gaslighting voters?
Frack the World
Fracking has become a critical component of the world’s largest economy. It has created tens of thousands of jobs – directly and indirectly. Notably, it has contributed more to emissions reductions than the Paris Accord. Perhaps most important of all, hydraulic fracturing has triggered the apoplectic left and revealed their extremist nature. Some moderate Democrats agree that natural gas is a bridging source to 100% renewable energy, which is not infallible. You only need to look to the blackout-ravaged state of California for the evidence. Biden realized his error by tergiversating on his stance to prohibit fracking because it is imperative for the livelihood of thousands, particularly in swing states. While the radical left wants to spend its days in fantasy land by spending $100 trillion and retrofitting every building and car in America, the rest of the American people will live in reality and perform a cost-benefit analysis and weigh the trade-offs.
Read more from Andrew Moran.