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Free Again!

  July/August 2018 / Vol 8 Issue 5

Free Again!
By: Greg Kozera,  Shale Crescent USA

 

Our country celebrated its birthday this past month. On July 4th1776 we declared our independence from England, the most powerful country in the world at that time. We became a free independent nation. In an age of Kings and Queens we became a nation governed by “we the people”. Our constitution recognizes that we the people have certain inalienable rights.

Throughout our history we have had to fight to keep our liberty. It started with the Revolutionary War. England wasn’t just going to let us go. We had to fight and win our independence. We had to fight England again in the War of 1812 to maintain our freedom. In World War I and World War II nations threatened to conquer and take our freedom. We fought a Cold War with the Soviet Union and won. We know that freedom isn’t free. Americans have fought and died to keep us free. This is a good week to make a point to thank a veteran for their service.

My father was a Marine who fought in the Pacific in WWII. He talked very little to us kids about the war. He spent time with other vets at places like The American Legion. One night when we were older he did tell us a little about the battle of Tarawa. The Marines had to leave their landing crafts and storm the beach. My Dad said, “I was in the second wave. The entire first wave was wiped out. If I had been in the first wave you would not be here.” Can you imagine getting out of a landing craft under fire, knowing that many of your buddies are already dead? My father like many of our veterans today bore the physical and emotional scars of that war for his entire life. I thank him and all of our brave veterans as I look at our flag every time the National Anthem is played before the high school soccer games I coach.

My mother was also part of the war effort by helping to build the equipment our military needed. After the start of WW II the United States turned out tanks, ships and airplanes in massive numbers for our war effort. Our military needs food, clothing, equipment and fuel to protect our freedom. One of my uncles fought in Patten’s army. He told us about the out of fuel German tanks they marched by on their way Berlin. Our military needs energy to protect us. The primarily fuel source for our military is fossil fuels. You can’t fuel a tank with solar power or fuel a fighter jet on wind. Our military also needs petrochemicals from oil and natural gas for modern equipment, high tech weapons, uniforms and even ammunition.

For decades, we have been dependent on OPEC for our oil and petrochemical feed stock. As a result, our manufacturing and petrochemical industries went overseas. We became the rust belt. In the early 2000s we built liquid natural gas (LNG) terminals to bring natural gas into this country from our “friends” in Russia and Iran to supply our domestic needs because we were running out of natural gas. We had an energy crisis. More important our freedom was at risk because we were dependent on foreign sources for our manufacturing and energy.

The World has changed. Thanks to American ingenuity and technology we can now access our massive oil and gas resources. The United States is now the leading natural gas producer in the world. The LNG import terminals, like Cove Point, MD have been turned into export terminals for our natural gas. If the Shale Crescent USA (eastern Ohio, northern West Virginia and western Pennsylvania) were a country we would the number three natural gas producer in the world. The rest of the USA without the Shale Crescent would be number one. Russia would be number two and we would be 3rd. Countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and Canada would all be far behind us.

The USA is also one of the top 3 oil producers in the world. Maybe most important the USA is THE leading producer of natural gas liquids (NGLs). This is the feedstock for petrochemicals that make plastics, textiles, pharmaceuticals and thousands of other products we use every day. The USA has more NGLs than the rest of the world combined. We don’t need Middle East or Russian oil to fuel our military. We don’t need their natural gas or NGLs for military equipment or for our domestic needs. We are free again!

Manufacturing and the petrochemical industry are coming back to the Shale Crescent USA. This is not only good for local jobs and a better standard of living it is essential for our freedom. The Gulf Coast is a major petrochemical hub. Having a second petrochemical hub in the Shale Crescent USA is important for national security and allows our country to continue production if there is another major weather incident on the Gulf Coast.

Freedom is never free. It takes a lot of effort to become the major manufacturing and petrochemical hub we envision. It is already happening. We also have good but misguided people in our own country that want to keep our fossil fuels in ground. This would destroy domestic manufacturing and directly benefit Russia and OPEC by driving up oil prices and make us once again dependent on them for our oil and natural gas. These “antis” probably didn’t march past out of fuel German tanks on their way to Berlin.

Based on information that has been released in the past few years and recent congressional investigations it is clear that the “antis” are being funded in part by Russia and OPEC nations. Is that legal here in the USA? These nations have much to gain and little to lose by throwing a few million dollars into the anti-frack anti fossil fuel movement. If Hillary or Bernie had been elected and either banned or heavily regulated hydraulic fracturing, USA oil and natural gas production would have declined, increasing the price of these commodities. Russia is the World’s leading oil producer and Saudi Arabia is second. Declining US oil production could send oil back over $100 per barrel. Russia and Saudi would make $BILLIONS of dollars. Much of it at the expense of American consumers. For Russia, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations that is a pretty good return on investment.

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