Currently, the State of Texas alone could shortly be the world’s second largest producer of crude oil and natural gas to Saudi Arabia. Large operations such as Eagle Ford account for over 10 percent of the state’s total economy, and statistics suggest the shale boom is not going to go away any time soon. Unlike other types of mining efforts, U.S. political activists clash over shale mining.
Environmental activists are not especially fond of the idea of the amount of water used, and local political activists are especially fond of the prospect of viable jobs in local communities. Lobbyists actively represent enterprises and the idea of domestic oil and gas mining as a solution to the energy crisis and ongoing lack of gainful employment in select (and often remote) geographic areas.
Politicians, Activists, Businesses, and Lobbyists All See Dollar Signs
In the end, shale mining is highly profitable in the U.S. Billions of dollars are spent on operations, mergers, and new infrastructure. Similarly, billions of dollars are earned. The opportunity for domestic fuel mining, storage, and transport can lower energy prices for other industries. Additionally, domestic oil and gas mining is several times more profitable than importing fuel due to tariffs and taxes. The shale boom and growing midstream sector are a promising way to turn production economies that are no longer viable in the U.S. into thriving communities.
For example, the State of Wyoming has an economy that would practically collapse without shale mining; the oil and gas mining industry account for about 30 percent of the state’s economy. However, it is important to think beyond Wyoming, Texas, Ohio, and West Virginia. Shale mining along with continual advancement of the midstream sector could lower operational costs for businesses across the entire country.
More of an Impact Than Helping Individuals Save at the Pump
The midstream sector is currently growing steadily within the industry as a whole. In short, numerous operations need to move more product than they can with existing infrastructure. Midstream businesses are in the process of building pipelines for more safe and effective practices along with ongoing ground transportation. Domestic oil and gas could do more than help people save a few dollars every time they fill up at the local gas station; lower fuel prices can help enterprises thrive and small businesses emerge.
Sustainable and Superior Employment Practices
Naturally, the ability to operate more efficiently can allow large enterprises and small businesses to grow organically and offer more competitive wages, inside and outside the energy industry. Numerous regulations were recently proposed to promote superior employment practices, but brining oil back to the U.S. could spur organic, sustainable job growth.
Regulatory Practices for Fuel Prices Versus Domestic Growth
Instead of government regulations keeping fuel prices below a certain dollar amount, shale mining and more advanced midstream practices can keep fuel prices low by providing domestic and reliable fuel sources. Continual advancement of the midstream sector can gradually lower fuel prices for all U.S. consumers that operate on the free market. The sustainable solution to affordable fuel is not likely a temporary regulation. After all, a temporary, sustainable solution is somewhat of an oxymoron.