Vets4Energy: 'What if' report shows what a 'winning lottery ticket' fracking is

Fracking operation | Jens Lambert/Shutterstock
Fracking is "a winning lottery ticket" for the U.S., something opponents of the practice do not understand, according to a veterans’ organization that advocates for energy independence to strengthen national security.

Army Capt. James McCormick (retired), program director of Vets4Energy, was reacting to a new report by the U.S Chamber of Commerce that examined the economic impact if hydraulic fracturing ever were banned in the U.S.

The chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy estimates that a nationwide ban would cut 3.9 million jobs in 2017 and 14.8 million by 2022.

It further projects a 53 percent increase in gasoline prices, a $442 billion reduction in U.S. gross domestic product and a $3,914 increase in the cost of living in 2017.

“The minority of Americans who see hydraulic fracturing as bad are not understanding what a winning lottery ticket it has been for America.” McCormick said. “The increase in oil and gas production helped bring us out of an economic recession by keeping those jobs and revenues here.”

McCormick said the natural gas unearthed from fracking is now producing electricity to a point that it has reduced our carbon emissions to 20-year lows.

"Without question, it has substantially increased our national security by reducing our need for imports from less-democratic countries," McCormick said.

Appreciating what hydraulic fracturing is doing for America and the world is not an exclusive vote against other sources, and that includes renewables, McCormick said.

“We need all our sources of energy," he said. "We need to continue developing new sources, and we need to improve our conservation and efficiency. But the fact is, if we want to maintain our standard of living, and remain a secure country, we will need oil and natural gas for many more decades, and hydraulic fracturing allowed us to do it ourselves, which has helped our economy, increased our security, and benefited the environment”  

The study said that between 2006 and 2015, the shale revolution turned the U.S. into an energy superpower.

“Only 6 percent of U.S. crude oil was developed with hydraulic fracturing in 2006. By 2015, that number had grown to 52 percent,” the report said, adding that nearly 70 percent of all natural gas produced in the U.S. is made possible through fracking.
“While some may believe that instituting a ban on hydraulic fracturing is the right policy for the United States, few (if any) appreciate the full breadth and scale of the shale energy economy – and the enormous economic pain that such a program would impose," the report said.

“We find that consumers would have to pay 53 percent more for petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel in 2017, with prices continuing to rise through 2022, when they would be roughly double what they are today,” the study said.

Natural gas prices would also surge, with the chamber’s analysis finding they would be 400 percent higher than what they would be otherwise by 2022. Electricity prices would double by that same year as well, the study said.

The study also said the cost of living would go up by nearly $4,000, while household incomes as a whole would drop by $873 billion, again by 2022.

The U.S. also would be at the mercy of major international suppliers of oil and natural gas, including Russia and members of OPEC, the study said, adding that global price impacts from reduced supplies would benefit countries such as Venezuela, at the expense of the U.S.

The U.S. chamber estimates that GDP would decline by $442 billion relative to the base, with a gradual escalation to $1.6 trillion by 2022.

In the report, the authors also provided estimates for Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Texas, four states with a large energy economy and significant manufacturing sectors.

Under a fracking ban, the study said  Ohio would lose 397,000 jobs, Pennsylvania would lose 466,000 jobs, Colorado would lose 215,000 jobs and Texas would lose 1.49 million jobs.

Organizations in this story

Vets4Energy United States Washington, DC

U.S. Chamber of Commerce 1615 H St NW Washington, DC 20062

U.S. Chamber Institute for 21st Century Energy 1615 H Street Northwest Washington, DC 20062

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