Fracking helps America — whether you like it or not

3:46 pm | January 13th, 2015

Article from pressconnects.com

Energy continues to make headlines. While New York refuses to issue permits for high-volume hydraulic fracturing, oil broke the $50 a barrel mark, bringing gasoline to $2.50 a gallon nationally. That’s more than a dollar a gallon pocketed by drivers every time they fill up compared to last year.

Thank a fracker!

Shale plays in Texas and North Dakota have increased U.S. oil production to 9 million barrels a day, upsetting markets and decreasing prices by 45 percent. Gas production from the Marcellus and other shale formations is now equal to that of Iran’s. The U.S. is awash in cheap energy. Thank a fracker!

Drivers aren’t the only beneficiaries. Energy was costing working-class households earning $50,000 or less income about 20 percent of their after-tax dollars. No more, as costs of everything goes down.

The U.S. still makes things. One-third of the gross domestic product comes from the sale of manufactured goods or extracted products. Whether we move them by rail, plane, truck, ship or pipeline, we use a hydrocarbon. Cheap energy means we’re competitive globally. More sales means more jobs. Check with Amphenol in Sidney; they’re hiring again with the advent of the Constitution Pipeline.

Farm costs for fertilizer, planting, weed control and harvesting are also affected positively. Lower overhead means more money for the 401(k) or maybe a new computer. For those lucky enough to have shale under their feet, royalties allow equipment upgrades. Prosperous farms revive a dying heartland.

Retailers see sales as shoppers keep more of their paychecks and spend more with extra money in the checking account. The medium household income from all sources rose last year by a measly $178. IHS Insight predicts that lower energy costs alone will save the average family $750 annually. That’s stimulus! Four times last year’s gain and not a cent in government debt passed down to the grandchildren. Thank a fracker!

The bonanza doesn’t stop on our shores. A recent Wall Street Journal headline said: “Tumble in Oil Prices Spurs New Bets on Global Growth.” The obvious benefits of lower costs, less debt and more jobs are all “unambiguously positive,” says the European Central Bank president. America’s productivity forces energy back into the marketplace rather than us having to boot-lick a cartel of kleptomaniacs.

Russia, aptly described as “a gas station posing as a country,” has seen its ruble plunge over 40 percent. That means less money for military adventures. Nuclear ambitious Iran and revolutionary Venezuela will have less dough to push their agendas. The Saudis are paying attention. Suddenly, our country isn’t dependent on countries that don’t like us. Thank a fracker!

The auto industry is seeing their best November sales in 11 years. The industry expects continued growth due to falling prices, improved job markets and low interest rates. Folks, including me, are looking at and buying cars. This is true stimulus, not like the “Cash For Clunkers” program where Uncle Sam buys your wreck, crushes it and adds it to our debt.

That car deal seems good. I may take it — thanks to a fracker.

Downey, of Otego, is a member of the Unatego Area Landowners Association.