Ambrose Evans-Pritchard offers a rosy view of our future - if only we don't mess it up. Once again cheap energy, this time in the form of natural gas released by new drilling technologies, is going to drive our economy upward and onward, while the rest of the world is apparently behaving foolishly. Full story is here.
A smattering of excerpts here:
"The wonders of US shale gas continue to amaze. We receive fresh evidence by the day that swathes of American industry have acquired a massive and lasting advantage in energy costs over global rivals, demolishing assumptions about US economic decline.
"Royal Dutch Shell is planning an ethane plant in the once-decaying steel valley of Beaver County, near Pittsburg. Dow Chemical is shutting operations in Belgium, Holland, Spain, the UK, and Japan, but pouring money into a propylene venture in Texas where natural gas prices are a fraction of world levels and likely to remain so for the life-cycle of Dow's investments.
"Some fifty new projects have been unveiled in the US petrochemical industry. A $30bn investment blitz in underway in ethelyne and fetilizer plants alone.
"A study by the American Chemistry Council said the shale gas bonanza has reversed the fortunes of the chemical, plastics, aluminium, iron and steel, rubber, coated metals, and glass industries. "This was virtually unthinkable five years ago," said the body’s president, Cal Dooley."
"Europe is going in the opposite direction, drifting towards energy suicide. So is Japan as it shuts down its nuclear industry after the Fukushima disaster."
"As of last week, US natural gas prices were roughly one third of European levels. The German chemicals group BASF said it had become impossible to match the US on production costs."