Hydraulic Fracturing: Critical for Energy Production, Jobs, and Economic Growth

October 19, 2016

Abstract: Energy production on private lands in the United States has been one of the most promising success stories in recent years, at a time when the country has struggled to grow economically. A large part of the success behind this tremendous oil and gas production and jobs creation is due to an energy-extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing. Misconceptions about hydraulic fracturing abound. The Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris explains how, regulated effectively, hydraulic fracturing is safe—as well as necessary for energy production and job creation in the United States.

While Americans continue to be disappointed by dismal jobs reports and a high unemployment rate, one of the few recent bright spots in the U.S. economy has been energy production, particularly the shale oil and shale gas revolution. In fact, the Yale Graduates Energy Study Group calculated that in 2010 alone, the consumer surplus (the consumer savings or gain from reductions in price) from shale gas production was worth over $100 billion. The technological one-two punch of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has created a remarkable energy boom and created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S. The possibility of continuously low natural gas prices is turning the United States into a prime destination for chemical companies and other businesses that rely on abundant amounts of natural gas. While the energy development has been substantially positive, the process of hydraulic fracturing has come under scrutiny over concerns about contamination of drinking water, the use of chemicals, wastewater management, and the potential for causing earthquakes.

Read more here: The Heritage Foundation

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