Energy Transitions: Natural Gas
After thinking a bit more about my post yesterday on Energy Policy and Transitions, I realized that the US may be in the middle of a transition, due to the sudden discovery of a large reserve of shale gas.
According to a New York Times story published in August 2013, “By 2020, new oil and gas production could increase the country’s economic output by 2 to 4 percent beyond what it otherwise would be, add as many as 1.7 million jobs and perhaps reduce the bill for energy imports to zero, according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute.”
Another study found that the Cost of Natural Gas Used in Manufacturing Sector Has Fallen due primarily to the increase in availability through shale extractions.
However, the benefits of shale gas need to be balanced with the environmental risks that fracking brings. Many advocacy groups have raised concerns about air and water pollution as a result of the extraction process. Careful consideration of these potential consequences is needed in the creation of reasonable energy policy.