A Time for Perspective and Appreciation

Supporters of American energy can be consumed by the issues of the day or week, and we often lose sight of the truly amazing aspects of the American shale energy revolution. The holiday season is the perfect time to slow down and take a broader look at exactly why the American shale energy revolution has been so important to our nation.

An article by Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens ("The Marvel of American Resilience") frames this conversation in an interesting way. Stephens asks readers to "imagine an economic historian in the year 2050 talking to her students about the most consequential innovations of the early 21st century—the Model Ts and Wright flyers and Penicillins of our time. What would make her list?"

Stephens thinks that the innovations that led to the shale energy revolution would be certain to make the list along with social media, mobile information technology, and newly discovered medical innovations for treating cancer and other diseases that still claim too many lives. "Surely fracking—shorthand for the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that is making the U.S. the world’s leading oil and gas producer—would be noted."

According to Stephens "the revolution happened in the U.S. not because of any great advantage in geology—China, Argentina and Algeria each has larger recoverable shale gas reserves" or because of any unique insight by government bureaucrats. Instead, shale energy took off because Americans "almost uniquely in the world, have property rights to the minerals under their yards" and we were blessed with "against-the-grain entrepreneurs" unimpeded by "the consensus of experts" who were willing to stake their fortunes on their innovations.

American shale energy has "upended energy markets, pummeled petrodictators, confounded OPEC, forged deeper North American economic ties, slashed U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions to their lowest level since 1995", and created over 100,000 jobs in North Texas alone.

This is a historic time for American energy, and a full appreciation of these blessings will energize us to educate our neighbors on the importance of American shale energy in North Texas and beyond!

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