Fracking in Europe

I am wrapping up a month-long journey across the Old World and have spoken with many public officials, business leaders, and others about America’s unfolding energy revolution.

Although what follows are broad generalities, the adage, “when we speak in generalities, we are generally accurate” should be applied.

First, the Europeans that I met with were unanimous in their awe of the ability of the U.S. to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Europe sees shale gas and petrol as a game changer, but one in which the U.S. will dominate and benefit the most.

In this case, like many others, America’s flexible and dynamic business climate dwarfs Europe’s more static and lethargic one.

This does not mean that Europeans are throwing in the towel.

The rise of the Russian / German alliance – rooted around energy- has many at unease.

Across the continent, especially in the East, international energy firms are trying to make inroads.

Exxon and Chevron, for example, are preparing to ramp up in Romania and off the coast in the Black Sea.

Still, environmental concerns carry the day.

Fears about the potential environmental costs of fracking- many of them irrational- seem to be clouding the judgment of policy makers.

As a result, despite the prospects, the overall look in Europe is a dim bulb.

In the short term- at least- it appears America will pull away even further as the biggest global economic development of recent decades continues to evolve.

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