Why do opponents of “hydraulic fracturing” ignore its moral advantages?
Perhaps the most important global energy development of the 21st Century, too many of our decision-makers seem to ignore the benefits that “hydraulic fracturing” has brought us to oil and natural gas.
Not only from a supply point of view, from 2008 to 2019, crude oil production in the United States jumped 150% to 12.3 million barrels per day with marketed gas rising 70% to 99%. Bcf / d, but from a national security and economic perspective, the American shale has been a godsend.
Fracking has increasingly made the United States self-sufficient in energy, which a boom in wind, solar and electric cars would struggle to do because their long list of needed raw materials comes from overseas (e.g. , 80% of our “rare earths” must come from dominant China).
This contrasts sharply with our competitors, namely Germany, Japan and China, which depend respectively 65%, 85% and 20% on imported energy.
Such improved oil and gas security IS US national security: sister fuels provide about 70% of our energy and are not as replaceable as many claim.
Just looking at natural gas, easily our main source of electricity (40%), prices since 2008 have averaged $ 3.60 per MMBtu but were above $ 6.00 from 2000 to 2008.
This “affordable gas from hydraulic fracturing” thing saved US residential, commercial and industrial gas users $ 650 billion in energy costs in 2008-2018 alone.
While unforeseen gas prices of US $ 5 this summer due to a global and national shortage sent shockwaves, prices in Europe, where they decommissioned the largest gas field, have been soaring. $ 25.
For the second quarter of 2021, demand for gas in Europe jumped 25%, the largest such increase since 1985.
Soon, the start of Nord Stream 2 will give Vladimir Putin an even greater grip on Europe’s gas supply – loving Europe’s madness limiting its own supply as it has a growing demand for natural gas. .
In turn, hydraulic fracturing has dramatically reduced the US imported oil bill and skyrocketed our exported oil profits.
We keep the money that was previously used to buy foreign energy on the ground: in 2008, we spent almost $ 390 billion on imported oil.
The US Department of Energy reports that fracking oil and gas was the reason we achieved an energy trade surplus of $ 27 billion in 2020, the first time the value of US energy exports has exceeded US $ 27 billion. imports since at least 1974.
Fracking is quite unique in that it actually improves our worsening U.S. trade deficit: in the first six months of 2021, U.S. energy net trade worth was in surplus of $ 9 billion. dollars, and non-energy trade was a deficit of $ 505 billion (read this again).
On the other hand, wind and sun obviously cannot be exported, and their power generation can only be shipped to North America, probably only to Mexico in small quantities (for example, Canada will send us more hydroelectricity).
The hydraulic fracturing revolution in the United States since 2008 has reduced our imports from OPEC, an oil cartel that holds more than 70% of the world’s reserves and seeks to control prices.
We have thus become isolated from the high costs of Middle Eastern crude oil, an invaluable competitive advantage of hydraulic fracturing that opponents, once again, ignore.
This gives us lower energy costs that free Americans to free up consumer spending which accounts for 70-75% of our GDP growth.
Meanwhile, heavier oil imported from Canada’s neighbor and great friend, essential since America’s refining system is largely configured to handle heavier crudes, helped sideline OPEC.
Canada has been needed even more since heavy oil production from longtime suppliers to Mexico and Venezuela plummeted.
Simply put, giving less of our money to OPEC is a moral imperative.
These are rogue regimes with oppressive governments that violate human rights.
Indeed, the ESG movement (environmental, social and corporate governance) that pushes Western oil companies in the United States and Canada has “gigantic holes”.
Anti-oil activism is turning the world market over to other vendors pushing forward the exact opposite agenda to what ESG claims to be championing.
So ultimately fracking has helped the United States move away from oil suppliers who are anti-women, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-free speech – a moral benefit of fracking that, yet another times, opponents ignore.
A fracking surge has allowed us to impose sanctions on provocative Iran without sparking oil and gasoline prices here at home.
And now the hydraulic fracturing export boom is helping others break free and limit the influence of these repressive oil suppliers.
As oil, the world’s most vital fuel, is literally the basis of globalization and humanity’s physical interconnectivity, investing in oil development might be more ‘ethical’ than opponents claim – the industry focusing on reducing methane emissions even further.
Opponents of fracking won’t tell you, but U.S. civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson want more pipelines so struggling communities of color can warm up affordably in the winter – he knows it really is. a matter of life and death for our already disproportionately ravaged vulnerable people. by the Covid-19.
Sadly, oil-heavy but anti-fracking California has hindered our national progress, rolling out climate policies that force a shift to more OPEC oil while at the same time putting free and democratic Canadian oil at a disadvantage (for example, low carbon fuel standards).
Governor Newsom and Larry Fink, that’s where our ESG problem really lies.
And for all we hear over and over about the “end of oil”, growth in global demand now exceeds new supply – just as new demand for electricity exceeds growth in renewables.
Indeed, just as the Red Queen explained, renewables and electric cars will have to run faster just to stay in one place.
After Covid-19 dropped it 8% to 92 million bpd in 2020, the US Department of Energy sees global oil consumption at a record 101 million bpd next year .
And as oil companies fall out of favor with climate stigma, and the childish simplicity of “we shouldn’t invest in new oil supply because demand for oil goes” scares off investors and investors. producers, a huge surge in prices, and perhaps the next recession, seems destined to devour us.
For our “energy transition”, emotions are dangerously and rapidly overtaking reality.
Although the Biden administration has promoted them as the solution, electric cars will not solve high oil and gasoline prices: electric cars make up 1-2% of our vehicle fleet, and the world’s second largest automaker. , even knowing the backlash he would face, calls them “overhysterized”.
Although many would like you to think otherwise, demand for oil in the United States reached a weekly record high of 22.8 million barrels per day in late August – a slap in the face of the anti-oil movement demanding impractical energy-climate policy. .
Today, around 90% of our oil and gas comes from hydraulic fracturing, and hydraulic fracturing will bring the majority of the new supply (for example, I remain optimistic about offshore).
While we hear about wind turbines and solar farms replacing oil, for example (they don’t because these renewables provide electricity while oil is a transportation fuel), we certainly have our work cut out for it. on the board: nearly 45% of Americans can Do not name the three branches of government.
Do you really think they know more about hydraulic fracturing?