Saturday, May 28, 2011

Energy Security vs Water Security

Interesting article in NYTimes on using fracking to unlock oil supplies. Although fracking uses up valuable water supplies,

The oil industry says any environmental concerns are far outweighed by the economic benefits of pumping previously inaccessible oil from fields that could collectively hold two or three times as much oil as Prudhoe Bay, the Alaskan field that was the last great onshore discovery. The companies estimate that the boom will create more than two million new jobs, directly or indirectly, and bring tens of billions of dollars to the states where the fields are located, which include traditional oil sites like Texas and Oklahoma, industrial stalwarts like Ohio and Michigan and even farm states like Kansas.

“It’s the one thing we have seen in our adult lives that could take us away from imported oil,” said Aubrey McClendon, chief executive of Chesapeake Energy, one of the most aggressive drillers. “What if we have found three of the world’s biggest oil fields in the last three years right here in the U.S.? How transformative could that be for the U.S. economy?”

But I wonder how much gain there is if switch from importing oil to importing water? Not that we can ever insulate ourselves from imported oil, there is not that much to frack. But even if there was, aren't supplies of water also important? Would politicians be so happy to have our water consumption decided by an Organization of Water Exporting Countries?

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