CFACT senior policy advisor Paul Driessen was cited in a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article by Jack Markowitz:

Americans could be so spooked by the unknowns of “fracking” — hydraulic fracturing of the shale rock layers in which the riches are trapped — that we fall for the high-cost skimpy results of “green” energy.
Environmentalists worry that we’ll contaminate ground water and that burning the fuel will just make more carbon dioxide for global warming.

Paul Driessen thinks the new abundance is simply panicking the greenies. Especially those with an economic, as well as emotional, stake in limits to growth.

He said the United States again has the potential to be the global powerhouse of energy, a reborn magnet for industry and jobs, and home of a strong dollar.

Driessen is energy adviser to the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. Writing in the NetRightDaily blog, he points out that supplies unforeseen just a few years ago have dropped natural gas prices from $8 per thousand cubic feet to under $3. Shale layers in other countries look like pay dirt, too. Poland and Estonia are fracking — China, Britain, Israel and Jordan, prospecting. Gas is supplanting coal in electric plants, keeping chemical plants open that were slated to close, and looking better to replace gasoline in cars and trucks.

A bitter pill for environmentalists is that low-priced gas “makes it harder to justify building wind turbines,” that need public subsidies, generate expensive power “only five to eight hours a day on average,” and knock birds out of the sky. “Build the gas turbines,” Driessen says. “Forget about the mostly useless wind turbines.”

He says a number of studies have shown fracking to be no danger to ground water, except in “rare cases” of failures of the cementing between well boreholes and the steel piping that goes down through aquifers to the gas formations far below. Solution: better cementing, testing and regular inspections.

Similarly, he says, fracking fluids aren’t “toxic” or “cancerous,” but consist nowadays of 99.5 percent water and sand — the rest virtually harmless chemicals and vegetable oils.

Therefore, go ahead and frack for that fuel, says analyst Driessen. “Sheiks, mullahs and OPEC ministers (will) lose economic, political and strategic power … threats of Russian pipeline closures would no longer intimidate Eastern European countries and politicians everywhere would waste less money on ‘renewable’ energy boondoggles.”

And such prospects are right under foot? Ought to cheer us up, shouldn’t it?


  • Paul Driessen

    Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for CFACT and author of Cracking Big Green and Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death.