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Fracking: The Harbinger of a US Economic Golden Age

During this past election, the topic that continually arose was the economy. Now, faced with falling off the Fiscal Cliff, matters seem even bleaker. But according to Harvard history professor, Niall Ferguson, we may be on the verge of a new economic “golden age” – and energy will get us there.

Ferguson believes that natural gas and oil production will be the source of the tailwind. Specifically, he is referring to “fracking,” a process by which oil and gas are extracted from shale formations split open through liquid injections. (This definition, of course, replaces the Battlestar Galactica expletive of the same name.)

According to the International Energy Agency, this isn't just the tentative beginning of an emerging era for US energy production. In a recent forecast, the agency predicted the US would topple Saudi Arabia from on the oil-production throne within the decade. Not only would this boom help us move toward energy independence, it would bring jobs Americans have been asking for since the 2008 economic downturn.

But Ferguson says this isn't the only good tidings that fracking will bring. As the US moves past Saudi Arabia on the oil totem pole, “the dollar can only benefit.”

Also, despite his alignment with the Republican party, Ferguson states that this economic upswing will be a boon to Obama, who would, according to Ferguson, be credited with the oversight of the changing tide. Energy independence through fracking would also mean cleaner energy as we lessen dependence on coal, in line with Obama's goals.

But Obama's possible victory is still contingent upon the accuracy of Ferguson's forecast. Even if Ferguson, a Romney supporter in this past election, is less than thrilled at the potential victory for the Democratic Party, he, and millions of other Americans, may have less to complain about if his predictions hold true.

Full story at CNN

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Feature Articles

Titan Puts a New Spin on GE’s Wind Turbine Research

Unlike traditional energy sources, wind is a trouble to tame, which has led GE to turn to advanced simulations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to put the technology on track to cover 12 percent of the world's energy production.

Lighting a Fire Under Combustion Simulation

Combustion simulation might seem like the ultimate in esoteric technologies, but auto companies, aircraft firms and fuel designers need increasingly sophisticated software to serve the needs of 21st century engine designs. HPCwire recently got the opportunity to take a look at Reaction Design, one of the premier makers of combustion simulation software, and talk with its CEO, Bernie Rosenthal.

D-Wave Sells First Quantum Computer

On Wednesday, D-Wave Systems made history by announcing the sale of the world's first commercial quantum computer. The buyer was Lockheed Martin Corporation, who will use the machine to help solve some of their "most challenging computation problems." D-Wave co-founder and CTO Geordie Rose talks about the new system and the underlying technology.

Short Takes

Local Motors and ORNL Partner for Automotive Manufacturing

Jan 24, 2014 | Local Motors, a vehicle innovator, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have announced a new partnership that they hope will bring change to the automotive industry.

Advanced Modeling Benefits Wind Farms

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Not Your Parents' CFD

Oct 13, 2010 | Outdated beliefs stand in the way of greater CFD adoption.

Manufacturers Turn to HPC to Cut Testing Costs

Oct 06, 2010 | Supercomputing saves money by reducing the need for physical testing.

HPC Technology Makes Car Safety Job 1

Aug 05, 2010 | Automakers turn to computer simulations to design safer vehicles.

Sponsored Whitepapers

Technical Computing for a New Era

07/30/2013 | IBM | This white paper examines various means of adapting technical computing tools to accelerate product and services innovation across a range of commercial industries such as manufacturing, financial services, energy, healthcare, entertainment and retail. No longer is technically advanced computing limited to the confines of big government labs and academic centers. Today it is available to a wide range of organizations seeking a competitive edge.

The UberCloud HPC Experiment: Compendium of Case Studies

06/25/2013 | Intel | The UberCloud HPC Experiment has achieved the volunteer participation of 500 organizations and individuals from 48 countries with the aim of exploring the end-to-end process employed by digital manufacturing engineers to access and use remote computing resources in HPC centers and in the cloud. This Compendium of 25 case studies is an invaluable resource for engineers, managers and executives who believe in the strategic importance of applying advanced technologies to help drive their organization’s productivity to perceptible new levels.

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