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American Shale Gas Solves Poverty Too

Reuters reports:

In India’s northern desert states, farmers are scrambling to harvest as much as they can of a bean with the power to lift them out of poverty. In the United States, the multi-billion dollar shale energy industry is banking on their success.

U.S. companies drilling for oil and gas in shale formations have developed a voracious appetite for the powder-like gum made from the seeds of guar, or cluster bean, and the boom in their business has created a bonanza for thousands of small-scale farmers in India who produce 80 percent of the world’s beans.

“Guar has changed my life,” said Shivlal, a guar farmer who made 300,000 rupees ($5,400) – five times more than his average seasonal income – from selling the beans he planted on five acres (two hectares) of sandy soil in Rajasthan state.

“Now, I have a concrete house and a color TV. Next season I will even try to grow guar on the roof.”

We don’t want to jump the gun, but the shale gas industry has racked up quite an impressive record. It’s driving our country’s utility industry to switch from coal to natural gas, it’s convincing long-haul trucking companies to begin to buy natural-gas fueled trucks, and it’s also putting solid roofs over the heads of thousands of farmers in northern India. Not bad, so far.

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  • Jim.

    All this comes to a screeching halt, if the Greenies have their way.

    They don’t even realize how cruel they are.

  • Joe

    Mean while, the Indian farmers are depleting the aquifers through ever more powerful pumps running on almost free electricity and/or deteriorating receiving waters and/or depriving the country’s citizens of more basic staples leading to higher inflation and other food problem.

    This has nothing to do about being a greenie. If that’s the way real economics is supposed to work, so be it. But the avowed free market rationalists should know there is more than a simple cash transaction taking place.

  • Jeff77450

    Jim, well said.

  • Andy

    Have the greenies ever cared if brown people suffer, so long as they can feel smug in their condos?

  • vanderleun

    Now that item falls right in the center of the great category: “News You Can Use.”

  • vanderleun

    Folks like Joe. They know *so* *much* *more*! And they are so willing to *SHARE*!

    I really don’t know where the rest of us would be without them. Probably left utterly ignorant of cost-benefit analysis.

    Thank you, Joe. You are indeed “special.”

  • Kris

    “We don’t want to jump the gun, but the shale gas industry has racked up quite an impressive record.”

    Silly Meadia! Don’t you realize that increased material prosperity in developing countries is an ecological net negative?


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