This pro-fracking video, created for the fight over fracking taking place in Colorado, is pretty funny. But, like most good humor, there’s truth behind it.
Senator John Hoeven has argued – most recently in the pages of the Wall Street Journal along side Senator John McCain – that America can leverage its boom in natural gas development to undermine Russia’s international influence:
Today, the U.S. has the leverage to liberate our allies from Russia’s stranglehold on the European natural-gas market. Thanks to new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, America is producing more than 30.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas a year, but only using 26.6 trillion. Oil and gas companies are forced to burn off natural gas that isn’t used, as the U.S. lacks the pipeline infrastructure needed to capture it. North Dakota alone flares 40% of all natural gas produced on lands managed by the federal government, according to data from the North Dakota Industrial Commission, which overseas oil and gas development in the state. This benefits no one.
The U.S. should put that natural gas on the global market.
Sometimes politicians get a little drippy about “energy independence.” America will never produce all of the energy it consumes domestically, if for no other reason than it often makes sense to import energy for some applications.
Free trade is one of the most important factors in international diplomacy. Trading partners often do not get into wars with one another. Not only would ending America’s restrictions on exporting natural gas (and oil, for that matter) give American companies developing American resources enriching American communities a larger market to sell to, it would also serve to undermine the power of not-so-great regimes.
Like Valdimir Putin’s Russia. Or any one of several Middle Eastern countries we could name.