11.08.2010 0

Steve Forbes Says New Technology Could Unleash Energy Resources

By Kevin Mooney — Venture capitalists who remain committed to so-called alternative energy sources, could lose out over the long-term as a result of key technological breakthroughs that have caught the attention of magazine publisher Steve Forbes. The relatively cheap, reliable energy sources that are most in use today could become more widely available over time thanks to new extraction techniques, he explains.

In his most recent “Fact and Comment” column, Forbes describes how “hydraulic fracturing” and “horizontal drilling” could help position the U.S. as a leading natural gas exporter. Oil production could increase dramatically over time, Forbes informs readers. Savvy investors with an eye toward the future should carefully weigh the opportunity costs of unreliable, intermittent wind and solar power against the development of new technology that accelerates access to oil and natural gas.

“With fracking, drillers inject water, sand and chemicals deep underground to crack gas-bearing rock,” Forbes writes. “The technology, which has been around a long time has advanced dramatically. Literally trillions of dollars’  worth of shale oil and gas can be economically extracted.”

Horizontal drilling also puts the U.S. in a position to extract oil and gas resources that were beyond reach just recently. The developments here could dramatically transform America’s energy portfolio.

“Environmentalists worry that fracking might poison our water, even though the drilling takes place thousands of feet below the water table,” Forbes observes. “Fortunately, the technology is there to get at these reserves in an extremely safe way. The Earth is awash in energy.”

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