The Fracking Economy

The platform adopted yesterday at the Republican National Convention serves two purposes: first, cleanse the Party of some of its past sins; and two, draw a sharp contrast to President Obama’s failed policies.

On the latter point, just look at what the platform has to say about energy:

The current President has done nothing to disavow the scare campaign against hydraulic fracturing. Furthermore, he has wasted billions of taxpayers’ dollars by subsidizing favored companies like Solyndra, which generated bankruptcies rather than kilowatts.

Contrast?  You betcha!

We will respect the States’ proven ability to regulate the use of hydraulic fracturing, continue development of oil and gas resources in places like the Bakken formation and Marcellus Shale, and review the environmental laws that often thwart new energy exploration and production.

Natural gas is crucial for America’s economic growth, and the defense of fracking (though expected) is important.  In a new paper, The Heritage Foundation’s Nick Loris explains the economic importance of fracking:

The abundance of natural gas makes the United States an attractive place to do business, especially for energy-intensive industries. In what could be a growing trend, Royal Dutch Shell recently announced plans to build a petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania and cited the proximity to natural gas production as the reason for the location. The $2 billion plant will create 10,000 construction jobs and thousands of permanent jobs for Beaver County, Pennsylvania. A new KPMG analysis of the U.S. chemical industry emphasizes that “[w]ith a new and abundant source of low-cost feedstock, the US market has transformed to become one of the most advantageous markets for chemical production in the world.” Shuttered steel towns like Youngstown, Ohio, are seeing a re-emergence of manufacturing employment opportunities. In Youngstown, V&M Star, the pipe and tube producer, is building a factory to manufacture seamless pipes for hydraulic fracturing that will employ 350 people. 

Nick also corrects some common and outlandish myths about fracking (more here).

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