Hydraulic fracturing is the world's fastest-growing energy producer and is speeding the United States toward energy security, author and Wall Street Journal writer Gregory Zuckerman said Wednesday.
Yet big oil companies were resistant to taking the lead, Zuckerman told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"The Exxons of the world should have done this, Chevron should have done this," said Zuckerman, whose book "The Frackers"
describes how the drilling process to free oil and gas from shale created an energy revolution.
"The conventional wisdom of all the geologists and the engineers was, 'Don't waste your time with it.’ . . . Instead, it was from some sort of mid-tier kind of guys . . . and they figured out how to get all this oil and gas, and it's bringing us towards energy — if not independence, then energy security."
Zuckerman said the United States produces about 8 million barrels a day now, up dramatically from the 5 million barrels in 2005.
"Last year was a record year for production," he said. "To think we were running out just a few years ago . . . Now we're going to be exporting natural gas. It's a dramatic change. It's changing geopolitics."
Zuckerman said fracking has been going on for years
"Finally, some sort of unusual and unexpected guys figured it out, and it's changed our country and the world," he said, adding that the worries of politicians and the Environmental Protection Agency are being addressed.
"In some ways this is just sort of happening despite the politicians," he said. "There were always these concerns that maybe the EPA would crack down on fracking. They really haven't. They've said, ‘Let's take a look at it,’ and they have a long-term study coming out next year."
Still, he acknowledges that mistakes have been made – but exaggerated.
"The energy folks say, 'We've never done anything wrong, don't blame us. The environmental guys are exaggerating it,'" he noted. "And they do spill, and they make mistakes left and right. Fracking can be done properly but often it isn't.
"And the environmentalists say, 'Fracking poisons.' They're overstating their argument, too. There are mistakes that are made. We need to do fewer of them. But fracking can be done properly."
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