How Fracking Became America's Money Pit


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How Fracking Became America's Money Pit



For most any nation, let alone a superpower, energy independence is considered the geopolitical holy grail. So when fracking lured in American investors, everyone had high hopes the country would finally break free of OPEC. But oil is a complex game, and 2020 saw sharp declines in demand caused by the cartel’s maneuvering, shale oil’s oversupply, and now the devastating effects of the coronavirus. What’s worse, the startup mentality of the U.S. fracking industry promised investors mythical growth and nonexistent returns. In the end, it burned a $340 billion hole in Wall Street’s pocket.

Video by Matt Goldman and Mike Byhoff
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44 Comments

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  1. In Canada we still have an entire province blindly throwing money into the oil sands, which is also an incredibly expensive way to produce oil. If oil can reliably stay above $100 then it is certainly viable, but I don't think anyone really thinks that's going to happen any time soon.

  2. While my Tesla shares are rising sometimes 8% a day, the criminals at the oil companies are getting hundreds of millions in bonuses for making losses, their shareholders who invested $350 billion, get pummeled, and the American taxpayers are left with a trillion dollar bill without ANYTHING having to show for it. This on top of the $1.5 Trillion Trump dumped on their heads in order to finance the poor billionaires and multimillionaires who had supported his campaign. It is difficult to find another example of how badly a society can get for its people when the only objective is more money in the pockets of the elites.

  3. it made a mess of north Dakota!! That industry is not healthy for the planet and is old school but it is the will of the corporate world. In the red house is out of control.

  4. Fracking will return when the price of fossil fuel goes back up above 70USD/barrel. At the current price, it cannot make it. Will it survive? Of course but the fossil fuel industry is no longer an industry of the future. Investors have soured on it big time on it. Renewable energy is giving fossil fuels a run for their money. Every house with solar water heating and electric panels will lower consumption by a large amount and will save consumers money. Already, wind is cheaper than coal. Fossil fuels will become a gap source of energy and even that may go away if/when we find large enough energy storage solutions.

  5. So no mention of the 1K+ abandoned sites on public lands that taxpayers are now footing the bill for cleanup, many were leased during the Bush admin. Also no mention of the trump administration removing a protection put in place by Obama, which said frakers had to put aside money for cleanup before starting on a site…
    A legitimate complain of mine about the Obama admin is when they buried a EPA study of groundwater contamination around frak sites.

  6. Could have spent all these money on solar, wind, or even fusion research. Instead, let's invest in "fracking" to chase the last drip of dino oil, and poison our ground water in the process.

  7. Blah, not only it kills your ecology, but now Germany is saying no to expensive American gas, in favor of much cheaper Russian gas. Guys, ecology is first, economy et all is second. Stop competing with Russia in terms of gas and oil, you can't, Russia is rich and twice your size, plus the arctic, it's not feasible. Focus on getting stuff out of ground without killing the ecology.

  8. Slow and steady wins the race. For the past 50 years, scientists and engineers have been steadily improving wind and solar. Result: Solar electricity has fallen over 99% in price, and wind isn't far behind. And they continue to get cheaper. Fossil fuel is finding it more and more difficult to compete. Coal is almost dead, and natural gas will soon follow.

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  10. And isn't the break even point of US franking oil around $50 dollars a barrel, so the entire venture is unprofitable until you see prices around $60.

  11. if oil was negative how come they weren't paying us to take it away? why was gas so expensive? why is fracking stile legal how? come they were able to get bonuses why are we still practicing capitalism?

  12. I love fracking. if solar was cheaper it would be better maybe. who knows. anyways. does the energy under ground replenish as fast as we use it? We need more energy. I would like to use 10x of what I use now. We need cheaper power. much cheaper power.

  13. Wrong. USA became a net exporter of energy not oil. We still import half of our oil. But we are net exporter because that is offset by larger exports of natural gas. You would think big news would know more than me.

  14. See… I said it years ago and this proved it. The whole reason they never went into those tar sands n shale formations back in the day was the cost. They had to put more into it to get the oil out than what it was worth, but then they figured out how to get at the gas. This model only works when gas and oil can be sold at a certain price, currently crude is around 40 bucks and gas is under 1.90. You figure it out…

  15. You don't have electric cars for everyone now. You don't have that much electricity to sustain it. Now, this. Points exactly at the unpreparedness and the huge irresponsibility that is being shown. Soon, companies won't cater to your interests and will mind their own things. Thats it.

  16. Oil is like sugar. Eat sugar and become a 200+ pounder. Fuel up and keep those Zombies flying Help the "fat cats" pay off those Zombie banks. Don't worry, your kids can pay off their college debt (maybe).

  17. If only we didn't have rampant corruption throughout the gov and they would regulate companies that deal with hazardous materials. But money rules all and the ones with the most money make the rules.

  18. "Except for one problem" … how do they not mention climate change as that one problem? The long-term economics do not favour this industry. We could have invested this money in green tech 20 years ago instead of this stupid Fracking boom.

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