Ferguson: Fracking Could Lead To U.S. ‘Golden Age’

Ferguson Fracking Could Lead To U.S. 'Golden Age'An unlikely champion for U.S. growth under the Obama administration has emerged — a former adviser to a Republican Party presidential candidate and Harvard history professor, Niall Ferguson, who says America could actually be heading toward a new economic “golden age.” And it has nothing to do with Washington and everything to do with energy.

‘Massive implications’

Ferguson, who is also an author and commentator, believes the production of natural gas and oil from shale formations via a process known as “fracking” — forcing open rocks by injecting fluid into cracks — will be a game changer.

“This is an absolutely huge phenomenon with massive implications for the U.S. economy, and I think most people are still a little bit slow to appreciate just how big this is,” he said in Hong Kong this week. “Conceivably it does mean a new golden age.”

‘Jaw-dropping forecast’

U.S. energy production has been booming in recent years. The International Energy Agency made a jaw-dropping forecast two weeks ago that the U.S. would pass Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer by the end of this decade — and would achieve near energy independence by the 2030s. That energy boom, asserts Ferguson, will create jobs in the United States. Lots of jobs. The energy sector currently supports 1.7 million American jobs directly or indirectly, according to economic forecaster IHS global Insight. That could rise to 3 million by 2020, it says.

For the recently reelected U.S. president though, the energy boom looks like it could provide a welcome tailwind for his second term. It’s something that Ferguson acknowledges — though one suspects through gritted teeth. He concedes the irony that the president will now be the beneficiary of the “good times that lie ahead.”

Do you believe that “fracking” could indeed up the U.S. economy enough to surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production? Tell us your opinions on this matter!

Source: CNN

Image: Falck Alford Productions

Hugo Chavez Wins Re-Election Presidential Bid In Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has won a fourth term in office, after opposition leader Henrique Capriles admitted defeat. Mr Chavez won 54% of the vote, the country’s electoral council announced, with turnout at about 81%.

Mr Chavez said Venezuela would continue its march towards socialism but also vowed he would be a “better president”. Electoral council president Tibisay Lucena announced that with 90% of votes counted Mr Chavez had taken 54.42% of the vote with Mr Capriles on 44.97%.

A subdued Mr Capriles congratulated Mr Chavez but told opposition supporters not to feel defeated. Mr Capriles said he hoped Mr Chavez would recognise that almost half the country disagreed with his policies: “There’s a country that is divided and to be a good president means to work for all Venezuelans, to work for the solution of all Venezuelans’ problems.”

Mr Chavez, 58, was diagnosed with cancer last year but says he is now fully recovered. He has been in power since 1999 and said he needed another six-year term to continue his “Bolivarian revolution” towards socialism. During his time in office Mr Chavez has nationalised key sectors of the country’s economy. Venezuela is a major oil producer and high oil prices have allowed his government to fund healthcare, education programmes and social housing.

In his campaign, Mr Capriles, who headed a coalition of 30 opposition parties, said the president’s policies had led to bureaucracy, inefficiency and shortages.

Do you think Venezuela will have a better future during the fourth term of President Hugo Chavez? Would Henrique Capriles have made a better Venezuelan President? Feel free to air out your opinions below!

Source: BBC News

Image: Sassy Wire