Showing Shale Energy the Love

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, now is the perfect time to show a little love for the overlooked and underappreciated sources of energy that make our modern lives tick. 

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby did just that in his "valentine for fossil fuels" this week. Contrary to the calls by some radical climate activists for Americans "to sever our ties with the fossil fuel industry" through divestment and other measures, Jacoby presents a compelling case that we should celebrate the contributions of the energy industry to our daily lives.

Jacoby points out that "the rise of fossil fuels has led to dramatic gains in human progress — whether that progress is measured in terms of life expectancy, income, education, health, sanitation, transportation, or leisure. Nearly everything that is comfortable and convenient about modern civilization depends on the ready availability of energy." Even the most radical activists understand this, as they "know better than to push people to give up electricity, air travel, computers, or central heating — all of which would vanish without the fossil fuel industry."

Perhaps no energy source has been more vital for the United States in recent years than oil and gas developed using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing – the key components of the shale energy revolution.

The benefits of these innovations continue to ripple through our economy. For example, the Oil & Gas Journal this week wrote about the findings of research firm IHS that a "diverse group of supply-chain industries is benefitting from unconventional oil and gas development" across the United States. The report "found that employment in supply chain industries supporting unconventional development totaled 524,000 jobs in 2012 and is expected to grow to 757,000 jobs in 2025."

The environmental benefits of shale energy continue to mount as well, as increased natural gas usage have resulted in reductions in American greenhouse gas emissions and other benefits. These benefits have led honest climate activists to the position that "environmentalists who oppose the development of shale gas and fracking are making a tragic mistake."

So let your love for shale energy show!

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