Thursday, 8 November 2012

The revolution that made it possible for Obama to win a second term

The shale gas revolution helped to re-elect a weak president.

There are of course a great number of reasons for why Barack Obama was able to win a second term despite being an extremely weak and incompetent leader. However, the crucial underlying reason was without doubt the impact of the shale gas and oil on the U.S. economy and job creation. The shale gas revolution - which Obama has played no part in, even if he tried to take credit for it - made it difficult for Romney to bring home his message of an economy in steep decline.

New research from the American Clean Skies Foundation shows the impact of the shale gas revolution:

Shale gas and advances in oil and natural gas extraction technologies over the last five years have provided a large economic stimulus for the United States. That is the conclusion of new research from the American Clean Skies Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing America's energy independence and a cleaner, low-carbon environment through the expanded use of natural gas, renewables and efficiency.

The research is based on data and analysis by ICF International and estimates that technology-driven changes in oil and gas production since 2007 will lead to 835,000 to 1.6 million new U.S. jobs by 2017 and increase the country's gross domestic product by $167 billion to $245 billion on a net basis.
For example, the report estimates that for every billion cubic feet of additional gas demand per day, there are 13,000 additional direct drilling and pipeline jobs, plus thousands more related to new chemical plants and other gas-using facilities. In turn, these jobs generate a further 10,000 to 30,000 induced indirect jobs in the manufacturing, retail and service sectors.

In January I made this "prediction", which I think turned out to be correct:

In the United States the shale gas/oil revolution has through its own force already changed the country´s economic outlook. This development is taking place, not because of some positive action of the present US administration, but despite of its policies. Ironically, it is quite possible that the energy centered economic turnaround, in which Obama has had no role, will in the end help to get him re-elected. 

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