Anybody who thinks that Corporate America, and Corporate World are not totally dedicated to expanding the use of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) should take a look at recent news.
- Item: The Obama administration has made a historic shift from focusing on its power and influence in the mid East to combatting the influence of Chinese capitalism in the Pacific. The reason they are able to do this is the massive increase in oil and natural gas production in the US (and Canada), with the result that they are less dependent on Mid East Oil
- Item: As if this weren’t enough, we have the continuing crisis in Ukraine. There, US capitalism and its allies in Western Europe are severely constrained as to what sanctions they can apply to Russia because so many Western European countries are so dependent on Russian gas, which is sent through Ukraine. The previous Ukrainian government had signed multi-billion dollar deals with both Chevron and Shell to explore for shale gas in that country, but meanwhile it is Western European governments are looking for a way to get gas from the fracking fields of the US.
- Item: If that weren’t enough, we see how the fracking and tar sands boom has boosted the US economy. The March 14, 2014 Wall St. Journal has an article on the tremendous boom in the railroad industry that has resulted. They write:
“BNSF is scrambling. The railroad is leasing and buying locomotives by the hundreds and hiring new crews. In mid-February it began building new track on top of frozen snow-covered ground along its main oil-patch route. It normally wouldn’t have attempted such a project until spring.”
Both the railroad and the trucking industry are now hiring significant numbers as a result of this boom. And that is just one example.
In the ’90s and the early part of the 2000s we had a boom that was based on the housing industry, this one is based on oil production. Most of the earlier boom was also based on a huge build-up of credit – fictitious capital. There are some economists who argue that the present boom has a similar aspect and that fracking will not prove to be anywhere near as profitable as they think. This may be, but meanwhile they are absolutely determined to expand this disastrous practice.
Whether a fracking financial bubble bursts or not, there is also an environmental bubble that is building up and will prove to be many, many times more costly. If capitalism cannot afford a clean environment, then we cannot afford capitalism!