Plummeting oil prices, which are largely the result of the U.S. hydraulic fracturing revolution that has nearly doubled oil production in the United States since 2008, have left many oil-exporting nations around the world reeling. The price drops have been particularly hard on nations in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Myriad OPEC governments are now stuck relying on dwindling oil revenues to fund large portions of their important social welfare programs, many of which are essential to maintaining national stability.
In today’s edition of the Heartland Daily Podcast, Heartland Science Director Jay Lehr joins host H. Sterling Burnett to talk about the abundant supply of oil and gas that exists due to fracking and in the future, Shale rock development and methane hydrates.
The decades-old legislation that prevented American producers from exporting oil is officially overturned—despite previous presidential threats to veto a bill to lift the oil export ban. That’s good policy. However, to get the support of “reluctant Democrats,” The Economist reports: “an additional five years of tax credits for wind and solar power” was part of the package. That’s bad energy policy.
The world has changed. Although few yet understand it, the revolution in the production of oil and natural gas from shale has altered the course of global energy, affecting most of the world’s people. This is not a short-term event. Citizens, industries and nations will be impacted for decades to come.
Oreos have been for years made in Chicago, Illinois (and several other American cities). Mondelez International, Inc. – the company that delivers us the chocolatey, spherical goodness – announced they would make their next wave of Oreo manufacturing investment not in Chicago, but in Mexico. This move will reduce – not end – Chicago’s role in production. Jobs in the Windy City will be halved – from 1,200 to 600. (Other cities will continue their current roles.)
Approximately 800 million people are currently malnourished, and the world’s population is expected to rise by 2 billion by the year 2050. If we use current technologies—or, Heaven forbid, roll back use of modern agricultural practices—we will have to plow down literally millions of acres to relieve the projected hunger expected to come as a result of the growing population. Fortunately, a widespread embrace of biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) crops can help ensure there is enough food for all.
Sand from the upper Midwest is coveted for hydraulic fracturing. It is the right size, shape and cleanness (almost pure quartz). It is also highly resistant to crushing under immense pressure, acting as a network of pillars (think of the Parthenon) keeping open the tiny fissures made in the rock in the process of hydraulic fracturing, allowing the oil and natural gas to flow up from the rock deep underground.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Isaac Orr, research fellow for energy speaks with Wally Drangmeister. Drangmeister, from the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, joins Orr to talk about oil and gas production in New Mexico.
Even with prices 40 percent lower than a year ago, we remain the world’s No. 1 producer of crude oil and other liquid hydrocarbons. Imports of oil have dropped from 60 percent of consumption to about 35 percent just in the past five years. We’re also the world’s largest producer of natural gas.
One of the great myths about the capitalist system is the presumption that businessmen make profits at the expense of the consumers and workers in society. Nothing could be further from the truth.
After years of rising gasoline prices, people are puzzled by the recent drop that has a gallon of gas at levels not seen in nearly four years. Typically in times of Middle East unrest, prices at the pump spike, yet, despite the violence in Iraq and Syria, gallon of gas is now at a national average of $3.
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