Peter Thiel, a tech billionaire and confidante to President Donald Trump, said something you don’t often hear from Silicon Valley moguls: hydraulic fracturing did more for progress than the tech boom.
“What’s very striking is that on some level I think fracking represents a bigger economic form of progress for our society as a whole than the innovation in Silicon Valley,” Thiel told author and energy expert Daniel Yergin during a 45-minute interview at the CERAWeek conference in Houston.
The U.S. fracking boom added 233,000 jobs to the oil and gas sector from 2009 to 2014 when abundant North American crude and OPEC’s refusal to cut production sent prices plunging. The oil and gas industry shed about 100,000 jobs during the downturn.
Oil and gas production, on the other hand, remained relatively high through 2015, hitting a record 9.7 million barrels per day in April of that year. Production has come down somewhat since, but is expected to increase as crude prices climb. […]
Thiel also took on the global warming establishment, according to Axios. Thiel is often painted as a skeptic of catastrophic man-made global warming, but he’s also funded green energy projects.
“I don’t know whether I am an extreme skeptic on climate change, but I have my doubts about the extreme way that people try to push it through,” Thiel said Wednesday night, “and I would say that I would be much more convinced of climate change, of the need to do something, if I thought there was a more open debate in which both sides were given a full hearing.”