Fracking industry says it’s raised household incomes by $1,200

But it fails to account for the environmental impact of drilling

Topics: fracking, household income, U.S. Economy, Oil and Gas, carbon emissions, , ,

“Americans really need to come to grips with and understand” fracking’s positive impact on the economy, said John Larson, the lead author of an industry-funded report released today. The report, from IHS CERA, found that increased oil and natural gas production from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is raising the U.S. economy by lowering energy costs. Bloomberg News reports:

In 2012, the energy boom supported 2.1 million jobs, added almost $75 billion in federal and state revenues, contributed $283 billion to the gross domestic product and lifted household income by more than $1,200, according to the report released today from IHS CERA. The competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturers from lower fuel prices will raise industrial production by 3.5 percent by the end of the decade, said the report from CERA, which provides business advice for energy companies.

“The unconventional oil and gas revolution is not only an energy story, it is also a very big economic story,” Daniel Yergin, IHS vice chairman and author of The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World, said in a statement. “The growth of long-term, low-cost energy supplies is benefiting households and helping to revitalize U.S. manufacturing, creating a competitive advantage for U.S. industry and for the United States itself.”

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The report didn’t account for the environmental impact of drilling. Those people who haven’t yet “come to grips” with fracking call attention to unsafe drilling practices that can contaminate water, cause air pollution, induce earthquakes and, of course, release methane into the atmosphere. Larson, who’s the vice president of economics and public sector consulting for IHS CERA, was careful to point out that anything that restricts production, like extended fracking bans or more stringent environmental regulations, “would result in a rapid decline in the economic benefits” identified.

Lindsay Abrams
Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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