The current abundance of domestic natural gas at historically inexpensive prices is presenting policymakers, regulators, and advocacy organizations with a new challenge – should this resource be exported to other high-priced markets or should it be protected and used as a strategic asset for energy-intensive industries?  An overview is presented of the economic, regulatory, foreign policy, foreign trade, and political implications surrounding this growing energy policy debate.

Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have created new domestic energy frontiers and made the United States a net energy exporter for the first time in more than 60 years. Although the process has been used for decades to stimulate production from declining wells, new technological advancements have rapidly accelerated the development of unconventional reserves of fossil fuels that were either unknown or considered uneconomic just a few years ago. Despite the excitement over the potential economic benefits are underlying public safety and environmental concerns.

 

As the use of hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—has grown, and as the practice has become more controversial, states have taken action in three primary ways.

While President Barack Obama’s third State of the Union address Tuesday focused primarily on familiar themes of economic recovery, the president tipped his hat to some new policies that could have a major impact on states, specifically education reform, infrastructure and hydraulic fracturing.

Obama announced a goal to increase the minimum student dropout age to 18 or until they graduate.

”When students don’t walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma,” Obama said. “When students...

With recent advances in a process known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” the U.S. may soon be able to boost its energy security while bolstering our economy and creating jobs. Large shale deposits throughout the U.S. are suddenly seeing a flurry of activity that’s being hailed by some for its economic development and criticized by others for environmental concerns. More than 20 percent of U.S. states have proven reserves of oil and gas locked in shale and the economic benefits nationally as well as within each of these states may be tremendous and far-reaching. In this session, experts on all sides of the hydraulic fracturing debate discussed what its production may mean for your state.

With recent advances in a process known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” the U.S. may soon be able to boost its energy security while bolstering our economy and creating jobs. Large shale deposits throughout the U.S. are suddenly seeing a flurry of activity that’s being hailed by some for its economic development and criticized by others for environmental concerns. More than 20 percent of U.S. states have proven reserves of oil and gas locked in shale and the economic benefits nationally as well as within each of these states may be tremendous and far-reaching. In this session, experts on all sides of the hydraulic fracturing debate discussed what its production may mean for your state.

With recent advances in a process known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” the U.S. may soon be able to boost its energy security while bolstering our economy and creating jobs. Large shale deposits throughout the U.S. are suddenly seeing a flurry of activity that’s being hailed by some for its economic development and criticized by others for environmental concerns. More than 20 percent of U.S. states have proven reserves of oil and gas locked in shale and the economic benefits nationally as well as within each of these states may be tremendous and far-reaching. In this session, experts on all sides of the hydraulic fracturing debate discussed what its production may mean for your state.

With recent advances in a process known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” the U.S. may soon be able to boost its energy security while bolstering our economy and creating jobs. Large shale deposits throughout the U.S. are suddenly seeing a flurry of activity that’s being hailed by some for its economic development and criticized by others for environmental concerns. More than 20 percent of U.S. states have proven reserves of oil and gas locked in shale and the economic benefits nationally as well as within each of these states may be tremendous and far-reaching. In this session, experts on all sides of the hydraulic fracturing debate discussed what its production may mean for your state.

The town of Stanley, N.D., was a dying community of about 1,500. But that was before the community opened up to hydrofracturing, or “fracking,” a process that pumps a solution of 99 percent water into rocks to release natural gas. “Now that fracking has moved in, the Farmer’s Union convenience store sold over $1 million in pizza in the past year,” said North Dakota Sen. Dick Dever.  Fracking has been a huge boon to the town’s entire economy.

More oil and gas come to the United States from Canada than from any other country in the world. The U.S. is a net energy importer in terms of oil and gas trade with Canada. Canada’s energy exports to the United States were valued at $76 billion in 2009, while U.S. exports to Canada were valued at $11.5 billion.

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