If you’re like me, you are probably enjoying the very low cost of gas these days. Whenever I drive by a gas station, at least one person in the car feels the need to comment, “Can you believe the price of gas!” Putting aside the dull conversations I have with my friends, it truly does seem like something in the American economy is finally going right.
In President Obama's last State of the Union address, he announced, "Gas under two bucks a gallon ain't bad, either."
I am glad that the President is in favor of low gas prices, but his policies certainly tell a different story. The Obama administration and many in the Democratic Party have taken firm stands against oil procuring efforts such as ocean fracking and the Keystone Pipeline. Despite his best efforts to restrict American’s abilities to extract oil, Obama seemed to have no problem taking credit for the low prices. Do you see the obvious yet? Fracking is directly responsible for low gas prices.
So… it’s about fracking time!
What exactly is fracking? Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is simply a type of drilling for oil, and it has been around for about 65 years. Modern fracking has actually become safer as new technologies have allowed oil companies to drill into shale at the bottom of the ocean, horizontally. The process is straight forward, after drilling about a mile below the surface of shale; the drill then turns horizontally to reach vast oil wells beneath the surface. The wells are then sealed shut, so a “Typical mixture of water (90 percent), sand (9.5 percent) and additives (0.5 percent) is pumped at high pressure to create micro-fractures in the rock that are held open by the grains of sand.”
Despite the bad name, fracking has received, and the fear mongering that has emerged from the use of chemicals, it is little known that such additives are used to make the process safer. They prevent the corrosion of the pipes, which results in fewer leaks, and it also reduces the need for extra pumping pressure, which would simply require the burning of more oil.
OK, so now we know that fracking is not simply a get-rich-quick scheme perpetuated by evil oil corporations, but in fact, a safe and efficient way to drill for oil. But how does it affect you?
As you probably already inferred, it makes driving around much less expensive. Thanks to fracking, America is enjoying the first booming industrial build in 40 years. Thanks to fracking, many Americans are acquiring high paying jobs within the oil industry. And thanks to fracking, “The price of oil is 20 percent lower than what it would be otherwise.”
So, next time you watch an uninformed Hollywood condemnation video on fracking, remember that you will be driving home from school with an extra few dollars in your pocket.