The US is into fracking boots and all, and political opposition is waning. We need to be telling the Green Taliban to frack off and get cracking with the fracking here:
Political obstacles to oil and gas production are starting to fall away at the state and local levels as voters, elected officials and courts jump on the energy boom bandwagon.
Voters are rewarding local politicians who support production. Ballot measures are distributing potential tax windfalls broadly. And most state legislatures are focused on managing the economic and environmental consequences of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, so the drilling boom can speed up rather than slow down.
The trend is crucial to the nation’s energy future because oil and gas production is regulated and taxed almost entirely by state and local governments. The federal government’s role is largely advisory, except on federal lands and on pipelines.
“Fracking is happening and it’s not going to stop, so we have to take the high road of good regulation and taxes so communities are better off, not worse off, after it’s done,” says Ted Boettner, executive director of the liberal West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.
Most states were caught off guard when fracking turned Pennsylvania into a major natural gas producer in 2009. Fracking could produce oil or gas in as many as 36 states. Result: The USA will become the world’s No. 1 producer of natural gas in 2015 and oil in 2017, overtaking Russia and Saudi Arabia, respectively, predicts the International Energy Agency.