The new US drilling boom rests on a technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to open shale-oil reserves. It’s why wells are springing up in places like North Dakota, California and Pennsylvania, with thousands of new jobs in their wake.

But the environmental lobby is bent on preventing it — waging an all-out war on fracking, claiming (against all evidence) that it contaminates ground water. The ideologues hope to use memories of the BP spill and a more recent one on the Yellowstone River to dam up all exploration and pipeline construction.

Never mind that fracking goes on thousands of feet below groundwater sources, and that Obama’s moratorium on offshore drilling did more damage to the Gulf economy than the BP spill ever did — or that the Yellowstone accident has affected an area of less than 10 miles on the edge of a national park of 3,500 square miles.

So there’s more at stake in the debt-ceiling impasse than just how we pay for our government. It’s also about whether America will dictate its own energy and economic future — or whether it’s left in the hands of sheiks, dictators and the EPA.

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