Some Presidential Candidates Don’t Understand Economics

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about a recent tweet by Elizabeth Warren.

This is the tweet:

The article includes the following quote from an article posted at The Heartland Institute website on September 19, 2018:

A 2015 Harvard Business School/Boston Consulting Group study estimates fracking supported 2.7 million jobs in 2014, with the potential to grow to 3.8 million jobs by 2030. Similarly, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) prepared a report for the American Petroleum Institute that estimates the oil and natural gas industries supported 10.3 million jobs in 2015, an increase of about 500,00 compared to 2011.  The RAND Corporation projects the industries will support an additional 1.9 million jobs by 2035.  By the same year, a 2012 IHS Markit study estimates fracking will have created 3.5 million jobs. 

A 2016 Chamber of Commerce study projects that if the fracking revolution of the previous decade had not occurred, 4.3 million jobs would not have been created, the U.S. economy would be $500 billion smaller and residential natural gas prices would be 28 percent higher. 

There is also the matter of national security. America now has the freedom to choose its friends without worrying whether or not our oil supply will be cut off. Some of us remember the 1970’s gas lines and high price of gasoline.

The world economy (that includes America) is currently based on fossil fuels. Countries who can supply reasonable priced energy attract manufacturing and businesses which create jobs. The end the production of fossil fuel and fracking in America is to reduce America to the status of a third-world (or lower) country.

Some Of This Actually Makes Sense

On December 12, a website called Energy in Depth posted an article about some of the negative claims made about shale drilling in Pennsylvania. At this point, it might be a good idea to note that much of the negative information published about fracking has been funded by Saudi Arabia. Might it be that American energy independence is a threat to the middle east monopoly of energy?

At any rate, the article reports:

  • There was no identifiable impact on death rates in the six counties attributable to the introduction of unconventional oil and gas development. In fact, the top Marcellus counties experienced declines in mortality rates in most of the indices.”
  • “The proportion of elderly-to-total population increased significantly in the top Marcellus counties compared to the state. Based on this fact, death rates in these six counties would be expected to increase, but this expected increase did not occur.
  • Unconventional gas development was not associated with an increase in infant mortality in the top Marcellus counties, as the mortality rate significantly declined (improved), even surpassing the improvement of the state.”
  • “Unconventional gas development was not associated with an increase in deaths related to chronic lower respiratory disease (including asthma) in the top Marcellus counties, as the overall chronic lower respiratory disease mortality rate declined (improved) or was variable for the six-county area. The only exception was Greene County where the increased mortality rate was consistent with the increase in the elderly population.”
  • “During the period that unconventional gas development was introduced to these counties, the trends reflected a positive economic change in the area. Therefore, any increases in the death rates in the top Marcellus counties cannot be associated with negative changes to the economic viability of the population.”
  • “Unconventional gas development was not associated with an increase in deaths related to cancer, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, influenza or pneumonia, nephritis or nephrotic syndrome, or septicemia in the top Marcellus counties, as the mortality rates significantly declined (improved).”

The article reminds us that the money brought into the community through the development of natural resources actually increased the longevity of the citizens as the average household income and employment in these counties improved. In a nutshell, people with more disposable income often eat better and get better healthcare. That may not be fair, but that is the way the world works.

The article concludes:

The new report adds to the growing body of research that shale development is protective of public health, and has led to reductions in local air pollution.

The full report is available here. Mickley (Study author Sue Mickley) also recently discussed the report on Shale Gas News. Click here to listen to the interview.

 

The Science Is Not In Line With The Objections

Using fracking to get natural gas from the earth has been controversial. It shouldn’t be–there is no scientific evidence that it causes any more problems than conventional drilling. There have also been articles in various media pointing to the fact that much of the anti-fracking literature and media in the United States is sponsored by either Russia or Saudi Arabia. Both of those countries have a vested interest in preventing America from becoming energy independent.

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about fracking. The article was actually about the possibility that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would run for President in 2020, but the article contained some interesting information about fracking.

The article reported:

The scientific case against all the anti-fracking claims of the environmental/Hollywood left continues to collapse more fully than an undercooked soufflé. The latest piece of evidence is a report from Resources for the Future, a centrist environmental group that is one of the oldest environmental organizations in the country, founded way back in 1947 by Fairfield Osborn, who was actually a Malthusian alarmist, thus making today’s RFF a curiosity in that is perhaps the only environmental organization that moved away from the left over its history.

RFF has conducted a thorough review of the academic literature on the health effects of unconventional oil and gas production (which mostly means fracking) and passes along these key findings:

  • We review 32 studies that cover health impacts such as birth outcomes, cancers, asthma, and other health effects, including migraines and hospitalization.
  • We find that though many epidemiological studies used robust statistical methods to estimate changes in health outcomes associated with unconventional oil and gas development, all had weaknesses and many had significant shortcomings.
  • Due to the nature of the data and research methodologies, the studies are unable to assess the mechanisms of any health impacts (i.e., whether a certain impact is caused by air pollution, stress, water pollution, or another burden).
  • Even where good evidence is offered for a link between unconventional oil and gas development and health, the causal factor(s) driving this association are unclear.
  • Though we do not see strong evidence of impacts in the literature, a lack of data or rigorous analysis does not rule out the potential for any effects.

I know that there have been reported instances of polluted water in areas where fracking was done. However, in many cases, water pollution goes back to the time in America when factories, tanneries, and other industries were not closely monitored. There is a strong possibility that much of the water pollution attributed to fracking is actually the result of prior manufacturing or tanning practices in those areas. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated certain areas in the U.S. as Superfund Sites. I am sure that there are many more that have not yet been designated. Water pollution is a problem in certain areas of America and has been for a long time before fracking came along. It is to our advantage to monitor the fracking industry carefully to make sure it does not add to our pollution problems. It is also to our advantage to do what we can to clean up the pollution problems caused by lax standards in the past.

Foreign Money Influencing American Policy

Yesterday the Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the foreign funding behind anit-fracking groups in America.

Before we follow the money, lets look at some history. During World War II, the British limited immigration to Israel because they did not want to antagonize the Arabs. It wasn’t that the British loved the Arabs–the Arabs had the oil Britain needed. In 1960 the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting CountriesilOPEC) was formed in Baghdad, Iraq. The mandate of OPEC is to “coordinate and unify the petroleum policies” of its members and to “ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.” (Essentially, they formed a monopoly which they  stated would benefit producers and consumers.) We saw how well this worked when they tripled the price of oil in the 1970’s. We have also seen oil used as a political weapon to discourage international support of Israel. Now OPEC has a problem. If America becomes energy independent, OPEC has lost its political clout, and the repressive regimes in the Middle East that control OPEC might lose a lot of their support from western nations. What better way to discourage energy independence in America than to support the groups that oppose fracking and other petroleum industries.

The article reports:

A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.

In addition to those roles, Hoskins is a director at a company called Klein Ltd. No one knows where that firm’s money comes from. Its only publicly documented activities have been transfers of $23 million to U.S. environmentalist groups that push policies that would hamstring surging American oil and gas production, which has hurt Russia’s energy-reliant economy.

Russia needs high energy prices to support its economy. Fracking is a threat to those prices.

The article concludes:

“I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, formerly NATO’s secretary general, said last year.

It is unlikely that the Kremlin is directly involved in doing so in the United States, according to Ron Arnold of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

“If anybody in Russia is behind all the secretive Bermuda investment house and law firm action, it’s most likely some oligarch bidding against U.S. competition,” he said in an email.

Arnold, the author of Undue Influence: Wealthy Foundations, Grant Driven Environmental Groups, and Zealous Bureaucrats That Control Your Future, said that the opacity of Klein Ltd.’s involvement with the Sea Change Foundation exemplifies attempts to shield the source of donations to such groups.

“In my experience of trying to penetrate offshore money funnels for U.S. leftist foundations and green groups, I have found that Liechtenstein, Panama and Bermuda are the Big Three green equivalents of the Cayman Islands for hedge fund managers—totally opaque and impervious to my specially designed research tools,” Arnold said.

The Russians are not the first to play this game. In September 2012, Power Line reported:

Earlier today, Steve gave this week’s Green Weenie award to Matt Damon for the anti-fracking movie Promised Land, which, it turns out, was financed by the United Arab Emirates. Who, trust me, acted out of a noble concern for the environment and had no thought of suppressing American fossil fuel development which would compete with the Emirates’ product and likely cost the Emirates billions of dollars.

Before you buy into the latest environmental (or other) cause, find out who is funding it.

Fracking?

Townhall.com posted an article today about Breitling Energy Corporation, a company recently awarded the Excellence in Corporate Responsibility for the Southwest Region by the Oil and Gas Awards.

The article reports:

Of particular note, the judges mentioned both Breitling Energy and Mr. Faulkner’s high public profile espousing the benefits of the shale oil revolution as one of the deciding criteria. Public education. Telling the other side of the story. Helping people obtain clear facts about what has been researched by academia, science, and the government.

In all those areas, not one single report has implicated fracking for any damage to the environment, water tables, or the air. In fact, a recent report by the unbiased American Lung Association, gave North Dakota exceptional marks for its air quality, in spite of the over 200 drilling rigs operating in the northwestern corner of the state in the now-infamous Bakken shale.

The scientific evidence seems to show that fracking is not harmful to the environment. Until someone can show scientific evidence that it is, I think it is a good idea for America to move toward energy independence. We have seen in the past month or so what a joy lower prices at the pump can be–I would love to continue in that direction. Also, the Middle East is not getting more peaceful as time goes on, and being energy independent would give America the freedom to make more intelligent choices in choosing how we deal with the various countries in the Middle East.

The Use Of Coal Has A Positive Impact On The Environment???

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about the increase in the use of coal to generate electricity. The article includes the following chart:

It seems that the environmentalists are caught between a rock and a hard place–they don’t approve of coal and they don’t approve of fracking, which results in cheap natural gas that generates electricity in a more environmentally friendly way than coal.

The article points out that India regards the use of coal to generate electricity as its path to prosperity. Even worse, coal-generated electricity has cut pollution in India because it reduces the use of small wood-fueled cookstoves.  According to a recent global health study, small wood-fueled cookstoves are the largest environmental health threat in developing nations.

So where are we? Environmentalists are doing their best to shut down coal plants in America, despite the fact that the global warming scare is pretty much over. Developing countries are using coal because it creates less of an environmental problem than small wood-fueled cookstoves. Natural gas, the clean alternative to coal in electricity production is out of favor with environmentalists because it is obtained by fracking. So what are we supposed to do?

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Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about the level of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. It seems that carbon dioxide emissions fell once again in 2012, bringing the United States’ emissions levels down to a two-decade low.

This is the chart:

Graph of annual light bulb sales, as explained in the article text

So what is responsible for the drop in carbon dioxide emissions– the increased use of natural gas obtained by hydraulic fracturing. This has got to drive the environmentalists nuts.

The article at Hot Air reports:

The largest drop in emissions in 2012 came from coal, which is used almost exclusively for electricity generation (see figure below). During 2012, particularly in the spring and early summer, low natural gas prices led to competition between natural gas- and coal-fired electric power generators. Lower natural gas prices resulted in reduced levels of coal generation, and increased natural gas generation—a less carbon-intensive fuel for power generation, which shifted power generation from the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel (coal) to the least carbon-intensive fossil fuel (natural gas).

The article concludes:

It’s yet another piece of evidence that environmental quality and economic prosperity are not mutually exclusive, even on a large scale; the innovations, efficiencies, and technological developments that come with an advanced economy can be good for both humanity and the planet.

The comment above represents the kind of balance we need more of in the environmental movement.

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This Might Explain The President’s Energy Policy

President Obama has been in office for more than three years now. One of the things that will be a problem for him in the coming election is the high price of gas at the pump. The President is threatening to take away the tax deductions from oil companies that all other businesses have–singling them out for higher taxes. That will further increase the price of gas at the pump. A video has surfaced recently that might explain some of these actions.

Yesterday CNS News reported that in 2010 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz stating that the “general philosophy” of the EPA is to  “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies. And we wonder why we haven’t made serious progress in the area of energy independence.

The article reports:

Soon after Armendariz touted the EPA’s “philosophy,” the EPA began smear campaigns against natural gas producers, Inhofe’s office noted in advance of today’s Senate speech:

“Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

“In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best – and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link.”

This is the link to the YouTube clip of Administrator Armendariz’ statement. Here is the video clip: 

If we want to be energy independence, we need new leadership.

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Something To Think About As Gas Prices Climb

Part of the cause of the rise in gasoline prices is increased tension in the Middle East. Part of the rise is caused by the fact that America is not energy independent and we are at the mercy of things we can’t control. One of the ways to solve that problem would be to become energy independent. Alternative energy may be part of that solution, but right now the technology is such that more carbon-based energy is the current answer. The Keystone Pipeline would have helped and more hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has helped. However, there is a movement among the radical environmentalists to shut down fracking. That movement is not based on scientific evidence.

Hot Air posted a story today about a university study on fracking.

The article reports:

The hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to develop natural gas has no direct connection to groundwater contamination, according to a study released Feb. 16 by the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

The study reported that many problems blamed on hydraulic fracturing are related to processes common to all oil and gas drilling operations, such as casing failures or poor cement jobs.

University researchers also concluded that many reports of contamination can be traced to above-ground spills or other mishandling of wastewater produced from shale gas drilling, rather than from hydraulic fracturing, Charles “Chip” Groat, an Energy Institute associate director, said in a statement.

“These problems are not unique to hydraulic fracturing,” he said.

The article also points out that fracking takes place hundreds, if not thousands, of feet below the aquifer. Hydrocarbons are naturally found in the water in areas where there is a high presence of shale oil–that’s why they drill there! The development of shale oil resources in America will provide jobs (the current unemployment rate in North Dakota is 3.3%) and move us toward energy independence. If the technology in green energy moves forward, that would be wonderful, but it isn’t there yet.

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