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Shale Boom Spreads Wealth Windfall


Shale’s rising tide is lifting all boats, says a new study. The wealth brought on by America’s recent shale revolution hasn’t been confined to the companies drilling the wells and the landowners leasing the property: the average American’s household income is up more than $1,200 last year thanks to fracking. The report, released by the energy consulting group IHS CERA, estimated that the US economy added 2.1 million new jobs thanks to shale and more than a quarter of a trillion dollars to GDP. Bloomberg reports:

Along with jobs at well pads and production facilities, the energy boom will increase employment throughout the economy, [John Larson, vice president of economics and public sector consulting for IHS CERA and lead author of the report] said. By 2020, jobs that can be attributed to higher oil and gas production will reach 3.3 million, according to the report.

Disposable income will rise as a result of lower energy prices, adding $2,700 per household in 2020 and more than $3,500 by 2025. Factors that could restrict production — an extension of fracking bans such as the one in New York state or stricter environmental regulations—would result in a rapid decline in the economic benefits, Larson said.

Shale has given America a bounty of cheap energy, which is having a ripple effect on the economy. Manufacturing is up. Households are enjoying lower prices for natural gas, allowing them to heat their homes on the cheap. The rise of fracking has quickly changed not just America’s energy outlook, but the fortunes of the US economy.

More of this, please.

[Oil rig image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • bpuharic

    One of the tendencies I’ve noted with the oil industry is to discount the real costs associated with environmental pollution.

    In addition, conservatives, like WRM, often assume there are no environmental costs (except if you’re a Chinese communist, in which case your country is doomed), and that information is free (shut down all govt agencies since we don’t need their info!!)

    Instead of acting like an industry flack, and publishing oil company press releases, perhaps a bit more intellectual rigor would be nice. Even a cursory glance finds:

    Lest anyone think I’m a tree hugger, I, being pro-nuke, had a discussion with Ralph Nader regarding his opposition.

  • bpuharic

    CNN has an article today about the DOT 111 tank cars used to transport petroleum products

    Turns out they have a design flaw and tend to explode in a collisoin

    But, thank god, the free market exists and all those people who will get killed will get a premium funeral paid for by capitalism

    The group charged with regulating these tank cars has delayed, for another year, any changes to regulations. Kind of like how we deregulated the financial sector, with great results in 2007

    Isn’t govt deregulation wonderful!

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