Skip to content

If You Care About The Environment, You Should Welcome Shale Gas Fracking

|
John Hanger, The Guardian

There is no perfect energy source that has no environmental impact and is low-cost. Natural gas is far better than coal or oil

Shale gas is reshaping America’s economy, environment and politics in still surprising ways. It was an unpredicted phenomenon, but shale gas, now more than a decade old, accounts for 40% of the natural gas in the US. The success of shale production, that has reached large areas of America where no gas development previously existed, birthed the largest environmental movement since the anti-nuclear power protests of the Three Mile Island era. The “fracking wars” have come to America and the world, with the recently fired French energy and environment minister saying shale gas supporters wanted her scalp. […]

So which energy source is winning the battle for market share around the world? Oil remains the world’s biggest energy source, but coal is closing the gap and could become the world’s top fuel. Indeed, last year, coal reached its highest market share of the world’s energy in more than 40 years. China, the second biggest and fastest growing economy, gets 70% of its total energy from coal and just 5% from natural gas. Only in America is coal struggling, because the shale gas revolution has made gas cheap and is displacing it here.

Full comment