Some people talk about wanting fracking to go away…forever. Their goal is to stop oil and gas development in favor of simply “keeping it in the ground.”
That mindset has even crept into the San Juan Basin and other energy-rich areas across the country where companies have invested millions and billions of dollars to partner with landowners and mineral owners to develop critical resources.
If successful, efforts to stop the extraction of fossil fuels over the next two decades could have a profound economic impact on the United States and the communities where energy production happens.
A new study actually looked at the costs and consequences of simply “keeping it in the ground.”
The study assumes a scenario including no new private, State, or Federal oil and natural gas leases; a complete ban on hydraulic fracturing; no new coal mines or expansion of existing mines; and no new energy infrastructure including pipelines.
The results, as one should expect, aren’t pretty. The study found that families and the U.S. economy would suffer the most. Consider that:
- Nearly 6 million million jobs would be lost
- $11.8 trillion would be gone from the country’s gross domestic product
- Families could pay $4,552 more in annual energy expenditures per household
- The price of crude oil could go up by $40 per barrel
- Retail electricity prices could go up by more than 50%
“Restrictive policies would take the United States back to an era of energy dependence – all based on the false idea that we must choose between energy self-sufficiency and environmental progress,” said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute.
“Cutting U.S. oil and natural gas production wouldn’t magically reduce world energy demand,” said Gerard.
“But it could raise costs significantly for American families and manufacturers, profoundly damage the U.S. economy, diminish our geopolitical influence, and severely weaken our energy security.”
Now, more than ever, it’s vitally important to keep developing the vast amounts of oil and gas reserves that are literally right beneath our feet about a mile or so deep. What’s in the ground warms you in winter, cools you in summer and keeps your car on the go.