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Well, this is something I would never expect.

October 17, 2013

Did you know that the United States is the largest producer of oil? You would think that would be trumpeted from the rooftops. The reason, of course, is shale oil. And fracking.

No, silly, not frakking. Get your mind out of the gutter.

But the Media Hulk says, ‘fracking bad.” So it must be bad, right? This piece from, of all places, Scientific American, says we will be the world’s largest oil producer in about 2020. Well, that was off by a little bit.

The rest of the piece is the usual global warming bull hockey, except for bringing out the increased production of natural gas as well. This is a very good thing, because the Current Occupant of the White House has said, repeatedly, that he is going to kill off the coal-fired power plants in the US.

But the Scientific American article referenced above also says that US coal producers are selling coal like crazy to China and India. If anybody ought to be nailed for air pollution from industry, it’s China. (But they are now trying to fix that, apparently.)

The reason I’m bringing this up is because this should have a profound effect on public policy. This growth is occurring even with the crushing regulations of the Federal Government. What would things be like if regulations were eased, even a little? We could become totally energy self-sufficient in a very few years! The economy could take a huge jump – industry, exports, the stock market (just from an improved long-term outlook alone).

And this growth wouldn’t even involve any blue-sky advances in technology, either. Or relaxing the regulations on nuclear plants, although I think it would be a good idea. I don’t know if nuclear is as economically viable in a time of cheap natural gas, but new designs of nuclear power plants are far safer and less expensive than the aging ones we now have.

But then, it could go the other way, of course:



What is this from, you ask? Glad you asked that. This is Dagny Taggart, watching the oil fields of Colorado burning. Ellis Wyatt set fire to them just before vanishing into thin air. He was protesting the latest round of oppressive legislation of the Federal Government.

If President Obama would like to be remembered for doing something of lasting benefit for the people of the US, he should focus on encouraging those industries. But he won’t, of course. We’ll have to do it without him, or in spite of him.

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