Isaac Orr, a Heartland Institute research fellow, narrates a series of eight 3-minute videos on hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking.” The video series highlights that fracking is beneficial because it increases our access to oil and natural gas. It is safe – it doesn’t pollute groundwater or cause earthquakes – and frac sand mining doesn’t produce air pollution or other problems.
Fracking has made natural gas so abundant, and so affordable, that electricity from natural gas has become competitive, and in many instances, less expensive than generating electricity from coal. As a result, the amount of electricity generated from natural gas exceeded the amount generated by coal in April 2015 for the first time in recorded history.
The newfound abundance of domestic natural gas reserves promises unprecedented energy prosperity and security. In Pennsylvania alone, shale gas production has generated 90,000 jobs with an average pay of $62,000. Fracking has generated more than $600 million in tax revenues, and fracking has contributed $34 billion to the state’s economy.
Lower energy prices resulting from fracking have led to significant consumer benefits. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average U.S. household saved approximately $675 on gasoline in 2015 compared to 2014 because of lower oil prices. Additionally, a study by the Brookings Institution found low natural gas prices will save families anywhere from $181 to $432 per person, depending on geographic area they live in.
Some environmental activist groups, however, are trying to shut down natural gas production, especially production from shale, arguing environmental harms outweigh the economic benefits.
This video series was produced in conjunction with Free To Choose Media.