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It seems to me that the challenge of rebuilding the American middle class: bringing back the jobs, ensuring good public education, health care and decent pensions is now to a great extent predicated on a very controversial "energy revolution": the lowering the cost of energy by the method of hydraulic fracturing of gas and oil-bearing shale known as fracking.
Not only is this technique of breaking apart the shale with water mixed with chemicals supposed to lower the costs of energy for industry and reduce America's dependence on imported gas and oil, thus producing more taxable income for social programs, but also to allow the United States to reduce its armed "footprint", the billions of dollars in military resources with which we police the troubled areas of the world where much of the energy we now import comes from. The idea being that the money saved in this way would be the money used to pay off the national debt, while simultaneously guaranteeing entitlements, etc..
It may be just my fevered imagination, but since fracking appears to be extremely dangerous to both human health and the environment itself, we might be looking at a future train wreck between social democracy and green concerns. DS