Hydraulic Fracturing

A look at the future of natural gas extraction

There is an ongoing debate regarding the preferred sources of fuel needed to meet America’s future electricity needs. The United States has been dubbed the “Saudi Arabia of coal” due to its extensive coal reserves, and approximately 60 percent of the electricity generated in Michigan comes from coal-fired power plants. Coal has increasingly come under attack from environmental groups, however, because they believe emissions from coal-fired power plants contribute to global warming. If less coal is used in the future to provide electricity, that energy must be replaced in order to provide reliable sources of electricity necessary to power America’s economy.

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There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, makes the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided.

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