What is the greatest technological advancement of the last ten years? Most would probably say the smartphone, or perhaps social media sites. I think it is directional drilling and what is referred to as ‘fracking’. Vast reserves of natural gas through this new technology have become economically producible throughout the Midwest. Further west, rich oil reserves can now be accessed.
“…energy resources are primarily a function of technology, not of geology. Technology unleashes resources, resource wealth creates capital, and capital is reinvested in new technology that, in turn, unleashes resources.” Link
“So dramatic are America’s finds, analysts talk of the US turning into the world’s new Saudi Arabia by 2020, with up to 15m barrels a day of liquid energy production…” Link
This technology has the potential to change America’s future. It has the potential to drive our GDP out of recession and return us to full employment. We could dramatically cut both our trade and fiscal deficits. Cheap energy could also revitalize other American industries. Lower electricity bills could help every homeowner. Tax receipts could expand painlessly.
In addition, while natural gas is still a carbon-based fuel, it is far cleaner than what is currently in use.
“…the biggest advances have been in power generation. A technological breakthrough, the combined-cycle gas turbine, a spin-off from the aviation industry, has transformed the economics of the industry. Not only has it made it cheaper to generate electricity from gas, but the process releases up to 50% less carbon dioxide than does coal. As governments strive to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, replacing coal with gas will bring fairly swift results.” Link
Billions of consumers are coming online around the world. This reality demands that clean, renewable energy technologies be developed. But for now….