Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fracking ban

Once again a panicked minority has called for an outright ban on a technology they do not understand. There are definitely certain dangers to fracking, as with any large technology. Should we burn coal instead of natural gas? That will be the outcome of a ban on fracking. Everyone likes having electricity, but some oppose each of the technologies that make it possible. I even saw a website that declared electricity a natural resource that should be available to everyone for free. How would that work? No one has banned electricity, but governments that prohibit private competitors to their electrical monopolies typically do not provide reliable service.

Outright bans are a gut level response that freezes progress.  A well though out and flexible regulation always works better. Regulated utilities in developed counties provide abundant power to anyone.   It's not to say the regulation is perfect, but it is a lot less troublesome than an outright ban. Once a ban is in place it creates a constituency that opposes all progress. Compare Prohibition with the War On Drugs.

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