Study: Fracking Bumps The Economy

Aaron Bandler,

A new study shows that hydraulic fracturing–more popularly known as fracking–is beneficial to the economy.

The study, conducted by the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute (EPIC), analyzed fracking’s impact in nine areas that are rich with shale gas, and determined that fracking increases the average household’s livelihood by a range of $1,300 to $1,900 a year, surpassing the $1,000 to $1,600 range of costs and externalities associated with fracking, when household income is not included.

“The study found up to a 7 percent increase in average income, driven by increases in wages and other factors such as royalty payments from the drilling to local land owners,” the research summary states. “Employment also increased about 10 percent, with a 40 percent increase alone in natural resources and mining jobs. The construction and transportation industries also saw an increase, while no industries experienced job losses.

“Additionally, local governments experienced a boost in revenue— though slight because of the need for additional expenses. For example, governments needed to pay more for public safety, infrastructure and utilities, and medical care.”

The study also found that housing prices rose by six percent as a result of fracking.

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Michael Greenstone, the University of Chicago’s Milton Friedman Professor of Economics and director of the Energy Policy Institute, acknowledged that the cost-benefit analysis could change if new developments were to occur.

“If new information emerges that indicates that there are larger negative, local health effects than is currently believed, this would likely lead to declines in housing prices and the overall welfare impacts,” Greenstone told EPIC News. “But based on what is currently known, the average community that has allowed fracking has enjoyed substantial net benefits.”

The study further highlights the benefits of fracking, which has provided the United States with the potential to become completely energy independent and has provided an economic boom to certain regions of the country, like North Dakota. Since fracking represents economic progress, the regressive environmentalist leftists are opposed to fracking and claim that it poisons water and causes earthquakes. However, it is virtually impossible for fracking to contaminate water given that there’s an impenetrable layer of rock between the water and where the shale gas is extracted. Fracking is also not the cause of earthquakes.

Studies like the University of Chicago’s are detrimental to the environmentalists’ narrative about fracking–and beneficial for the country.

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