Shale has entered the language — and the income stream — of Western Pennsylvanians. But whatever the regional payoff, shale is the best reason for national optimism to come along in a generation. It should mean goodbye to OPEC’s 40-year stranglehold on oil prices.
Goodbye, too, to U.S. trade deficits in the black gold. Hello to a tangible bounce in gross domestic product and 3 million more jobs. And to lower energy prices for a $750 boost to household incomes, $30 billion more all told for consumer spending not at the gas pump. Foreign Affairs magazine sees the geopolitical dynamite. In a special section, it’s reporting the United States way ahead — and likely to stay ahead — of the rest of the world in shale exploitation. This is more than a matter of having humongous stores of oil and gas deep underground. Other countries are similarly blessed.