Walter Russell Mead on Fracking: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly:
There is always more to the story than environuts or self interested gas companies will tell you; the one constant thing to expect is that there are good things and bad, benefits and problems, with all aspects of the energy industry. The question then becomes – what will bring the most benefit to the largest number of people, and what is best for the US as a whole?
A consideration that does not get enough weight is security. It is not just about reducing America’s dependence on Middle Eastern energy sources now and in the future. It is about promoting the diversity and security of the world’s energy supply by opening up many new sources of production in many new parts of the world. Europe, for example, may have a shale gas and oil boom of its own, reducing its dependence on both Russia and the Middle East.
Failing to frack increases the chance we must fight. Let’s learn to frack as cleanly and carefully as possible — but let’s get it done. Right now, it seems – despite some entirely justified anger from people who live in the frack zone – that extracting America’s vast natural gas resources is the right way to proceed.