Fracking changes energy landscape

Fracking changes energy landscape

Energy production in this country is increasing at a record-setting pace.

President Obama and his top administrators continue their efforts to at least delay, if not kill outright, the jobs-producing Keystone pipeline plan in Pennsylvania. But there's a limit to their reach, and the private sector is working overtime to generate the energy that our economy so desperately needs.

Indeed, it's never worked harder and been more productive.

Crude oil production in the United States jumped by more than 1 million barrels a day last year, the largest increase ever in the world. Daily U.S. production increased to 8.9 million barrels of oil, according to an industry trend group, a jump attributable to shale oil production generated by hydraulic fracturing, aka "fracking."

This new drilling process allows developers to reach deeply buried oil supplies, and its promise is vast — not just in this country but around the world.

Less than a month ago, Illinois legislators passed a bill that established new ground rules for fracking, and Illinoisans will be hearing a lot more about it once energy explorers have the time to move their plans from the drawing board deep underground.

It's impossible to say just how much fracking will boost the Illinois economy, and it would be foolish to get carried away at this point.

But fracking has led to an economic revolution in North Dakota, where the deep underground oil supply appears to be boundless and generated a production increase that puts this country third on the list of oil-producing countries behind Saudi Arabia and Russia.

So far, the increases have not caused the price of oil to drop much; it's been bouncing around from $90 to $100 a barrel with bottlenecks in moving oil from one place to another blamed for the higher prices.

Despite that temporary problem, it's clear that this country, and perhaps the world, is on the brink of another energy revolution.

Sections (2):Editorials, Opinion

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Political Observer wrote on June 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm


Wow, what an editorial!  Did somebody on the editorial board just finish watching a Fox News report on Fracking, perchance, and fire off this screed to trumpet their newly-acquired knowledge on the subject?  I mean, there are some seriously bizarre things going on in this commentary!

For instance, consider its first sentence:  “President Obama and his top administrators continue their efforts to at least delay, if not kill outright, the jobs-producing Keystone pipeline plan in Pennsylvania.”  Well, I would assume that you’re referring to the highly-controversial Keystone XL pipeline plan that’s been in the news for quite some time now, that’s supposed to be used to transport dirty, corrosive tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas.  Sooo….Pray tell, how did this primarily north-south pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Texas supposedly wind up passing through Pennsylvania??!  (Did Pennsylvanians complain that even though they resided in the Keystone State itself, they nevertheless were bypassed completely by the Keystone pipeline?…so then they successfully demanded that their prized pipeline should be re-routed hundreds of miles eastward?   Hmmm…Not too likely, I should think!)

Here’s a link that gives a map of the pipeline, and the article at the link also covers a few topics that seem to have been inadvertently left out of the N-G editorial, such as environmental issues, property rights issues, etc.:

Danno wrote on June 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm

On the map; notice how Phase 1 ends in Illinois, a Dead End Road with excessive taxation. Thus the reason to go towards OK. Keystone made 'stereoview' looking cards, primarily of early Native American Indian people/chiefs in their 'habitat.' Nothing to do with PA.

OilCity wrote on June 20, 2013 at 12:06 am

Actually, there is a refinery in Wood River and a large tank farm at Patoka. That's why the pipeline goes there. The new route is slated to go through or close to the new fracking areas. "Excessive taxation" has little to do with it.