Did you happen to catch the recent report on the impacts of offshore fracking in California? It didn’t come from any sort of energy industry advocates or right wing think thank. Two government agencies, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement joined in issuing their findings that the process would have no measurable impact on the environment.
An environmental assessment from two federal agencies has determined that fracking off the coast of California has no significant impact, lifting a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing that was instituted earlier this year.
“The comprehensive analysis shows that these practices, conducted according to permit requirements, have minimal impact,” Abigail Ross Hopper, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said Friday in a statement.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement joined in the assessment, which analyzed well stimulation treatments on 23 oil and gas platforms off California’s coast between 1982 and 2014.
That’s some good news all the way around, but apparently it hasn’t filtered down to the Democrats yet. After having been accused by the Sanders campaign of selling fracking to the world, Hillary Clinton was pushed so far to the left that she went on record saying she would regulate it so tightly that, there won’t be many places left in America where fracking will take place. If nothing else, we at least have them on record.
But how will that play with energy conscious consumers who are finally enjoying some relief at the gas pump and in their home energy bills? More to the point, what of our allies around the world who are now accessing LNG and other energy resources from the Unites States rather than depending on Russian and Middle Eastern suppliers to keep the machinery of their societies running? Neither of these questions are difficult to answer.
Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and Porter Bennett, CEO of Ponderosa Advisors LLC, have published a lengthy editorial at Inside Sources which explains all of this for the layman. To put it bluntly, allowing either Clinton or Sanders to take charge and ban fracking nationally would kill off America’s newly established energy independence and our place as a global leader for the free world.
Low-cost shale gas is disrupting the international LNG market. In December 2014, LNG going into the Asian market was selling for $12.49. Today, thanks in large part to America’s entry into the global gas market, Asian LNG is selling for about $4.24. Cheaper LNG helps America’s allies in Europe by giving them an alternative to gas from Russia, which has long had outsized influence on the European energy market.
Shale gas is cutting U.S. emissions. On May 9, the Energy Information Administration reported that since 2005, the United States has cut its carbon-dioxide emissions by about 700 million tons, that’s far more than any other country. The EIA reports that 68 percent of that reduction was caused by changes in fuel use in electricity generation and it specifically cited “the decreased use of coal and the increased use of natural gas.” The report did not mention solar or wind.
Low-cost gas has transformed our electric grid, which is now irretrievably dependent on natural gas for both baseload generation and to offset the incurable intermittency of solar and wind energy. A February report by the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis, which comprises the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and five universities, found that if the United States aims to continue cutting electricity-sector emissions, natural gas will have to play a bigger role. The report also said that “natural gas shows signs of acting as a bridge to a low-carbon future.”
So how do the authors square this data with the fact that Hillary Clinton and other Democrats are calling for a national ban on fracking? That’s easy. They are undermining the nation’s security.
The hard truth is that a federal ban on hydraulic fracturing would be catastrophic for the American economy and a windfall for OPEC. It would, within a matter of months, result in major price increases for natural gas and oil. That, in turn, would cause dramatic price hikes on everything from electricity and home heating to gasoline and fertilizer.
It’s time to for some energy realism. The shale revolution has profoundly improved America’s energy fortunes. If opponents of hydraulic fracturing succeed in banning the process, they will have succeeded in killing a uniquely American success story that is helping consumers and the environment.
I’ll just leave you with that one phrase which aptly describes so much of the liberal agenda in general and Hillary Clinton’s promises in particular. Killing a uniquely American success story. That’s the goal, though they will never phrase it that way aloud. No price is too high in the church of progressive thought, as long as you can look like you’re doing something to advance the cause.