Notes From the Fieldby Martin Weil

March 18, 2013

Nothing Short of A Miracle


The U.S. is well on its way to ridding itself of a decades of dependence on foreign oil. Given that our need for oil has played a part in most of the ugly and costly military entanglements we have gotten ourselves into the last 50 years, I can hardly imagine any better news. From Iran to Venezuela, with stops in places such as Iraq and Nigeria, the US has embedded itself with oil-producer governments in places we would have best kept our distance from.

NBC News starts a four-part series examining how fracturing, or “frakking,” has opened up the production of vast quantities of domestic oil and gas. Communities from West Texas to North Dakota are witnessing the equivalent of a new gold rush. Combined with reduced demand through conservation efforts, our demand for foreign oil has declined precipitously in the past 3-5 years.

The development of fracturing technology comes at some environmental cost and the arguments are already contentious.  But to my mind, until we move away from our economic dependence on carbon-based fuels, I would rather have domestic battles over environmental problems than be compelled to engage in both covert and “hot” military ones to protect access to needed energy.

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