A money tree.
Want to get rich? Just take from the environment.
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If you keep a close eye on energy news, you probably know by now that fracking for oil and natural gas is injecting $1,200 a year into the bank accounts of American households.

Fricking awesome, right? Go on out right now and buy that 65-inch plasma TV on credit — you’re good for it. Because of fracking.

Or maybe not.

new report [PDF] from consulting firm IHS CERA claims that fracking increased household disposable income in the U.S. by more than $1,200 last year, and that the industry supports 2.1 million jobs. Reuters, CNBC, Forbes.com, and the Los Angeles Times reported the study’s key findings.

But as Media Matters for America notes, “These figures are much larger than the findings of many previous economic studies.” Media Matters also points out that the aforementioned media outlets didn’t bother reporting who paid for the study. It’s all there at the bottom of the report’s third page:

This research was supported by the American Chemistry Council, America’s Natural Gas Alliance, the American Petroleum Institute, the Fertilizer Institute, the US Chamber of Commerce – Institute for 21st Century Energy, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Natural Gas Supply Association, Rio Tinto, and the Society of the Plastics Industry.

Well, golly, if the industries that frack and use much of the fracked gas and oil say fracking is great, then who are we to argue?

Bloomberg tries to inject a small dose of ecological reality into the conversation, noting that the report “didn’t account for the potential environmental impacts of fracking.”

Environmental impacts? Pffft, industry bodies that represent massive corporations don’t care about environmental impacts, so why should we? Free hypothetical money for everybody!