Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

July 28: Oil and Gas “Fracking”

As the US tries to become more energy independent by extracting previously uneconomic reserves, hydraulic fracturing (“Fracking”) has become an increasingly common technique.

However, as the Wikipedia link (and other articles linked to it) above indicates, there is substantial controversy about the environmental impacts of the practice.

Next week, we’ll discuss “fracking” in the context of the US situation, the environment, its effect on foreign affairs (potentially decreasing the relative economic power of countries with low-cost energy resources).

  • Will oil and gas fracking be a stabilizing influence on geopolitics (Europe/Russia, China/India, Middle East, Venezuela, underdeveloped countries) or merely shift the distribution between the haves and have-nots.
  • What are the implications for Maine energy policy and how should it respond.

The May/June issue of Foreign Affairs has three good articles on fracking and is on the shelf along with an extra copy of the articles at BHPL.

The articles may be accessed free on the net by merely registering on the web site.

1 Comment

  • Fracking seems to be a significant factor in the recent US reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. See this Economist article.. And according to the article, the change in cost for coal vs gas along with Post Fukushima Nucleophobia Syndrome (PFNS) is causing and likely to further cause EU emissions to rise. Ironically the coal that is not being burned in the US because fracking makes gas cheaper is being burned in the EU.

    It’a global problem, after all.

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