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Heck No! We Won’t… oh…

December 10, 2012

I think we’re now at the place with hydraulic fracturing that we were with shale oil in 2005 or so.  Back then, shale was about to go big.  The people already in the business were making money hand-over-fist while decriers said that it was too expensive, wouldn’t amount to anything, would ruin the planet… at this point, shale is a harvest-able resource that continues to get weak complaints from people who like to complain.

Fracking, though, is still the boogeyman for all the non-energy crowd.  If anything, the volume is louder against fracking than it was against shale oil.  Of course, jobs and a steady industry that can be taxed has very nicely closed down most of the arguments in Ohio and Pennsylvania, so the others are starting to cave.  Hot Air points to this article from the Washington Post as some of the evidence.

In a bid to keep the moratorium in place, opponents of fracturing — widely known as fracking — planned to meet this weekend in Baltimore to brainstorm on how to craft legislation to extend the deadline and fund the study on whether drilling is safe.

“What we’re hoping for with this session is a very strong shot across the bow,” said Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery County), who has sponsored numerous pieces of anti-drilling legislation. “No studies, no fracking. Until these studies are undertaken, there will be no drilling in Maryland.”

When you’re meeting in an emergency session, you’re losing.  Just a hint.

But at this point, it might be a while.  Since the prices of natural gas are dropping, the imposition of additional costs around funding studies, use fees, and the like have driven business away.  For now, it’s likely that the environmentalist side will get a “win” in the column, just because buseinss isn’t interested in fighting for something that it’s already won just down the road.

We’re in an interesting position in the US.  Most “non-progressive” states have decided that jobs trump a lot of other things, and they’ve adopted aggressive energy policies that are driving employment.  Meanwhile, the more progresive-leaning states are holding onto their energy resources.  At some point, if the energy started to run out in the world (and it won’t… we seem to be discovering new sources constantly), these states would be in the cat-bird seat.  Of course, they’d probably still be heavily entrenched and wouldn’t release the resources while jobs go overseas…

This isn’t a war that’s going to be won on either side for quite a while.  But I’d bet that fracking will lose its public opposition in a few years when people get tired of losing jobs, and we’ll move onto the next bugaboo.

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