07.16.2013 0

The potential new American century

By Rick Manning

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan/Chase Manhattan Bank said it, and it just may be worth listening to, “We’ve got a world-trade flush,” he quipped.

“We don’t have a divine right to success. But we have an unbelievable hand. If we play it well, and now we’ve got natural gas and shale oil, we have a gift from God here. America’s going to come back, and it’s going to blow people’s socks off when it does.”

Dimon is no right-wing radical, in fact he is a lifelong Democrat who has been a major contributor to Democrat candidates and was a White House favorite during the early years of the Obama presidency.

Yet, Dimon’s quote sounds like the boundless optimism of the most passionate salesman trying to sell his first set of encyclopedias.

Why exactly is the leader of one of the world’s most influential banks so bullish on the U.S. economy?  Incredibly it has nothing to do with predictions about the latest action by the Federal Reserve or other currency manipulations.  Instead, it has to do with America being poised for fundamental economic transformation due to actual real wealth creation through rapidly increasing natural gas and shale oil production.

Oil and natural gas production in places like the state of North Dakota where the economy grew at a more than 9 percent clip last year.  Many are surprised to learn that North Dakota is now the second largest domestic oil producer in the United States surpassing California and Alaska over the past couple of years.

Dimon knows that the west Texas oil fields have been revitalized and revived with the use of the hydraulic fracturing technique accelerating oil and natural gas production dramatically in this region that was once thought to be pretty much played out.

Also, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2012, $313 billion of our nation’s $540 billion trade deficit came from imported petroleum-related products including oil and natural gas.  Perhaps Dimon’s enthusiasm for the future is because he knows that with new techniques to access shale oil and natural gas that are becoming more efficient every year, the energy-related trade deficit will be heading significantly lower as America becomes more and more energy independent over the next few years.

Or maybe he is just excited because he knows that manufacturing CEOs around the globe are now looking at the United States as a prime location for new facility locations due to the projected less expensive energy costs due to the coming oil and natural gas boom.  These new facilities mean real job growth, higher wages and lower costs for American made goods, all because of domestic energy development.

Dimon might even be smiling about the incredible potential California miracle where environmentalists in Sacramento suffered a rare defeat in their attempt to put a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.  With projections showing four times the shale oil available in the once-Golden State than even the North Dakota fields are predicted to possess, California has a chance to get back on its feet if the green lobby continues to be kept at bay.

Incredibly, the increases in lower cost natural gas and shale oil due to hydraulic fracturing even are being credited with lowering the energy-related carbon dioxide emissions across the nation as they have dropped precipitously since 2007.

The most likely reason for Dimon’s excitement is an aggregate of these facts and more.  Growing North American energy supplies are the game changer for rebuilding our nation’s industrial sector and the good jobs it creates, and as a banker/investor, he is probably most looking forward to lending the money to energy production businesses and those that thrive due to lower energy costs to make the transformation happen.

Jamie Dimon knows that God-given energy profitably extracted by very smart and ingenious entrepreneurs has the potential for creating a new American century — a 21st Century where free markets create lower utility costs, more jobs and the hope and belief that our children will again look forward to a prosperous future. That is, if only Americans are willing to reject the professional green lobby to grasp it.

Rick Manning is the Vice President of Public Policy and Communications for Americans for Limited Government.  You can follow Rick on twitter @rmanning957.

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