Just in case you missed this last week:
2012 will be the year when the acceleration in US economic growth becomes the global growth story that came out of left field – just as shale itself appeared to most to come out of nowhere. Shale will be the story too big to ignore.
As shale moves into an economic story, it will becomes a political one. Most obviously this sets the stage for an Obama victory by default later this year. The two battleground swing states of Pennsylvania and Ohio are at the epicenter of the shale boom, and those in work in the states won’t be interested in how they got those jobs – just that they have them. Obama’s opposition who ever that will be won’t hurt, but the Democrats will see what side their bread is buttered on. Democrats will ignore, or oppose, shale at their peril. The impact of shale on the US economy and politics will be too compelling for Europeans to ignore. The key question of shale worldwide is going to be: If the US can do this, why not us?
Don’t miss this:
The White House briefing paper that accompanied the “insourcing” event attributes much of the rebound in manufacturing to the boom in domestic natural gas production, made possible by new “fracking” technologies. The federal government didn’t do much specifically to promote fracking. Yet the process has dramatically cut the price of gas, a key industrial input, and led to spinoff employment in related industries. The White House notes that more of such development, appropriately regulated, could have “substantial” benefits to the U.S. economy. Even in a polarized Washington, everyone should be able to agree on that.