Giving natural gas credit where credit is due

Credit Where Credit Redux

After President Obama's State of the Union speech, I questioned whether the President was trying to take credit for the amazing advances in technologies that has been made in energy production over the last decade. In an article I titled, "Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due", I asked why Obama tried to take credit for the work of others when he said, "it was public research dollars, over the course of thirty years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock — reminding us that Government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground." In fact the response from that piece was overwhelming and it seems many others are asking that same exact question. Who deserves the most credit for these historic innovations? Is it the government or private enterprise? Whose revolution is this anyway?

The American Petroleum Institute (API) soon was asking those same questions in a piece called, "Matching Words with Action." The API said, "In his State of the Union address this week, President Obama expressed support for more domestic energy development. Citing new government projections that the United States will increase domestic production of oil and natural gas by 2035, he also took credit for increased domestic production in recent years. But oil and natural gas production requires years of planning and investment and today’s production is a result of policy and company investment decisions made years ago."

The API went on to say that, "We welcome the president’s focus on domestic energy development, but his current policies suggest we should wait for always match his words. A few examples: While the president praises shale natural gas development, more than half a dozen federal agencies are considering new regulation of hydraulic fracturing, the technology necessary to develop 70 percent of our future natural gas production.

“Also, while promoting domestic oil and natural gas production in his speech, the president again proposes new punitive taxes on the very companies that make that production possible – and that already contribute some $86 million every day to the federal treasury in taxes, royalties, rental payments and other fees."

The API also said that while the President acknowledge that federal lands should be available for development, his administration is slowing down the processes that make that development possible. And while he calls for increased trade with reliable partners, he shuts down a critical, job-creating project that would have strengthened our energy partnership with Canada, already our largest and most reliable trading partner. The API says that "We look to leaders to make the right decisions so that we can continue to make this country more energy secure. We hope the president will take this opportunity to make the necessary course correction in energy policy so we can produce even more, here at home, of the oil and natural gas we will need. Our industry is ready to join him to make it happen."

History will show that it was It was George Phydias Mitchell of Mitchell Energy and Development that cracked the code for fracking, or is it fracturing or is it "what the frac?” Well if there isn't enough debate, about this issue what the heck do we call it and how do we spell it? Jonathon Fahey of the AP ponders by writing, "A different kind of F-word is stirring a linguistic and political debate as controversial as what it defines. The word is "fracking" — as in hydraulic fracturing, a technique long used by the oil and gas industry to free oil and gas from rock. It's not in the dictionary, the industry hates it, and President Barack Obama didn't use it in his State of the Union speech — even as he praised federal subsidies for it. The word sounds nasty, and environmental advocates have been able to use it to generate opposition — and revulsion — to what they say is a nasty process that threatens water supplies.”

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