Today I read Fracking industry draws closer in Illinois.
It seems like the energy industry’s case is:
- There’s no clean energy. Fracking can be safely regulated.
- This will create jobs in Illinois
In evaluating these things, I wonder:
- Has fracking been in practice long enough to evaluate long term impacts?
- How do early estimates of negative impacts and regulation to address this of established energy extraction techniques (off-shore drilling seems like a good example) match with the realities we’ve seen since the technology was introduced?
- How long will the jobs created by fracking in Illinois exist? How long have they existed in other communities? Will these jobs disappear in a manner similar to auto-industry jobs in the rust belt. Do places with low unemployment exist because they have have a single large industry that employs a lot of people or a mesh of industries with pathways for people to move to other types of work when one employer dries up?
- How do you quantify the cost of unemployment vs. being employed in a dangerous or environmentally toxic job?