It is not only the potential size of this gigantic gas lode that will make a big difference in the U.S. energy supply, but also the Marcellus Shale’s location, within spitting distance of arguably the most avaricious gas consumers in the nation: New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and the whole Northeastern region.

Our nation’s critical infrastructure – energy, transportation and water – is failing. In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) awarded it an overall grade of D, and that was likely generous. The consequences of this failure are dire. America’s economy can only grow if our critical infrastructure allows it. Militarily, our nation’s armed forces rely on our infrastructure as part of its increasingly complex and far-flung global supply chains.

The business climate in America is starting to see some major changes as more and more companies are beginning to understand the important correlation between the economy and the environment.

The earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11, 2011, permanently disabled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

According to some pundits in the days and weeks afterward, the global nuc­lear industry was bound to be another victim of the disaster.

Since the rash of energy company bankruptcies following the turn of the century, the energy industry has been relatively unaffected by major business failures. The SemGroup bankruptcy roiled oil markets in 2008, Lehman Brothers had some business units in the energy sphere, and ASARCO recently completed a high-profile bankruptcy.

Recent political uproar around the world has driven home the potential liabilities that U.S. construction companies face in pursuing ever-expanding global opportunities. Instances of stranded construction workers and long work stoppages in Libya, Egypt and else­where are vivid examples of the risks of commercial building amid nation building.

According to the Bible, the Tower of Babel was an attempt to build a tower that reached all the way to Heaven that was foiled by God changing the languages of all who were building it. The lesson intended by the story is that God doesn’t like anyone trying to crowd into his domain, but there’s an alternate lesson for the world of business, too.

Despite the Obama administration’s deepwater moratorium be­ing lifted in October of last year, the resumption of investment in offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) – and deep-water drilling in particular – remains anemic. This is in part due to the nebulous guidelines, which offshore operators must comply with before being allowed to resume or begin drilling issued by the newly restructured Minerals Management Service, now known as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE).

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