Bill Murchison

The petroleum industry continued throughout the 20th century in the same mode -- the ideas, the innovations, the push forward. It was humans pushing, sometimes against other humans -- in government offices, regulating prices, issuing decrees.

By and by, the fracking boom came along. Human minds and energies brought it into being. There was opportunity out there; there were men and women wanting to take advantage of it. According to a brand new study commissioned by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and several industry-related enterprises, shale oil and gas deals have in the last few years created 1.75 million jobs. By 2035, the figure could reach 3.5 million.

This year, the study says, the shale industry has accounted for $62 billion in tax revenues -- a figure that could top $2.5 trillion between now and 2035. The industry didn't "build this?" Who did, pray tell?

Not always -- look to the East Coast -- is nature amenable to human control. Man is not the measure of all things. We have been rightly advised for a couple of millennia. Yet man, when he makes up his mind to wring an advantage from wind and air and water and rock, is a force to contend with. The government willing to back off a little in such instances to let humans have their way consistent with harmony and good order is the kind of government Americans deserve.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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