Skip to comments.Shale Gas: Global game changer (and why some will block it)
Posted on 02/10/2011 2:10:44 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
Ten years ago, few crystal balls foresaw the lightning impact and development of shale gas on the worlds energy scene. In the last 10 years during which shale gas became commercial in the US its use has grown from near zero to about 20% of the already enormous US gas stream. Booked shale gas reserves, at present rates of production, may still be onstream 100 years into the future, a figure that will increase if gas begins to approach oil on a price parity basis.
Many likely changes will result from shale gas development. But the most important ones reflect the economic impact of shale gas on global politics and todays energy producers.
.....The distribution of shale gas is so widespread that locally produced shale gas may become the standard fuel in many places. Traditional gas imports (by pipeline or as LNG) may become incremental sources.
The potential of shale gas implies a loss of political leverage for some sellers. For example, Russia has used threats of interruptions and actual interruptions like old-time gunboats, notably with Ukraine, but with other European countries too.
... The Poles share with other Europeans concerns about fracking, water recycling, and environmental issues. They have no tradition of American-style entrepreneurship. What they do have is reliance on Russias Gazprom in a power-constrained economy. They want to accelerate the development of their shale gas reserves. This story is repeated many places.
....Because shale gas can be distributed through existing gas facilities, it can decrease the urgency with which some countries pursue solar and wind projects. But these renewables have been supported by global warming concerns and benefited from deliberately high subsidies. So a commitment to renewables is likely to remain even if gas availability is explored and ultimately adopted.
(Excerpt) Read more at pennenergy.com ...
“Why some will block it”???!!!!
Let’s see, they block oil they block gas they block coal they block Nuke they block wood burning stoves. WHY THE HELL WOULDN’T THEY BLOCK SHALE GAS? Geeze!
This one they really fear because (as mentioned in the body of the post) shale gas is available to many countries within their own border — and thus cheap, accessible and in your face to the green movement.
Energy is utterly vital to civilization and informing people is key on all these issues. The General Patton quote, with a few slight re-wordings, should be our un-official mission statement dealing with the liars and hypocrites who are in the business of mis-/mal-informing the public. And who make our work saving minds so challenging to boot. Thanks again.
Wow, thank for all this information!
It’s a morning wake up call.
The greens fear the shale fields. Some like Eagle Ford produce gas and oil, some like the Bakken are great oil producers. However, the drillers use a process called fracing to break up the deposits and make them manageable. The greens want to stop that process. However, there are companies, Ecosphere Technologies for one, that seem to be able to provide the technology that will make that argument moot. In any case, the greens will never stop.
...The Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the necessary tools to protect our families from a number of harmful pullutants that can cause asthma and lung disease especially in children. Weakening these standards would allow more pollution in the air we breathe and threaten our childrens health. We thought it might be helpful to refresh everyone on how this landmark law affects our country and protects our health.
* 160,000 Lives Saved Last Year - In the year 2010 alone, clean air regulations are estimated to have saved over 160,000 lives.
* More than 100,000 Hospital Visits Avoided Last Year - In 2010, clean air standards prevented millions of cases of respiratory problems, including bronchitis and asthma. It enhanced productivity by preventing millions of lost workdays, and kept kids healthy and in school, avoiding millions of lost school days due to respiratory illness and other diseases caused or exacerbated by air pollution.
* 60% Less Pollution in Our Air, Strong Economic Growth and Lower Electricity Prices - Since 1970, the Clean Air Act has reduced key air pollutants that cause smog and particulate pollution by more than 60%. At the same time the economy more than tripled. And Since the Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990, electricity production is up and prices are down. In 2009, electric utilities delivered 33 percent more electricity to U.S. households and businesses than in 1990, while nationwide electricity prices were 10 percent lower.
* Benefits Far Out Weigh Costs - Over its forty-year span, the benefits of the Clean Air Act in the form of longer lives, healthier kids, greater workforce productivity, and ecosystem protections outweigh the costs by more than 30 to 1. [end excerpt]
John Holdren has advocated for population control, de-development of the U.S., and recently told a gathering of U.S. science graduate students, the the U.S. can't expect to be number in everything indefinitely. He feels other countries will benefit from us resetting our economy.
Chinese product to Europe would have the much longer voyage if the Suez was not available, yet they could benefit from the energy prices since oil from the M.E. would find its shortest route to China rather than Europe.
OTOH, the shortest trade routes for energy and products for Europe would be the Western Hemisphere.
Syria and Iraq could also benefit mightily if the Suez were to be expected to be out of commission for a significant period of time since it could green-light the underwriting aspect of massive pipelines from the oil fields in Iraq, through neighboring Syria to the Med.
USSR Russia could get highly P.O'd about this since it would diminish the threat of cutting off gas supplies to Europe.
“Obama, The Sierra Club and other fellow travelers will do all they can to defeat American self-sufficiency in energy.”
I strongly disagree. Obama and other such as the Sierra Club do want America to be self-sufficient in energy. The problem is, they want to achieve self-sufficiency by ratcheting down our energy consumption to the levels that can be provided by solar, wind, etc. IOW, about 10% of what we currently use.
I strongly disagree. Obama and others want to block access to current energy sources and drive up their costs, so green energy looks less costly.
Not just hydrocarbons, either. Do a search on "thorium"
I back off my “strongly disagree.” I think you are correct and so am I.
Limit consumption ie smart meters, rolling black-outs, high taxes, penalties, EPA, etc.
Limit access to current energy sources, seal off land, prohibit mining and drilling, EPA, high taxes, penalties on businesses and use, etc.
It would be real nice if someone brought up the Nazi roots of the World Wildlife Fund.
Most of the leadership of the eco-fascist cults are neo-Nazis, with a deep hatred for ordinary people, an embrace of various kook theories and a dislike of rationality.
The coming GOP majority MUST be encouraged to aggresesively allow us to drill for oil, extract shale gas, built nuclear powerplants and built oil refineries.
The socialists had their heyday under Obama. We have to place great pressure on the coming GOP majority to ignore the environmental whack jobs and to exploit our own energy.
Man, there are so many things we need to demand from the coming GOP majority. So many things.
Leftists will squeeze every drop of blood from a correlation vs causation scenario. They need to do this because economies work in spite of their schemes, not because of them.
No Coal, No Power, No Gas (Texas)
By Jeffrey Folks, American Thinker February 11, 2011
Let’s see if I get this straight. During the early February cold spell in the southern plains, when wind chills in Dallas dipped to minus twenty degrees, Texans were going without power to heat their homes and businesses even as the state was sitting on massive surpluses of natural gas. Even hospitals were having to switch to emergency generating systems. And this in the state with the largest energy production capacity in the continental US.
How was it that Texas suffered an extended period of rolling blackouts at a time when there’s a glut of coal and natural gas waiting to be used?
The answer may be quite simple. It seems that a great deal of natural gas got “stuck in the pipes” because there was not enough electricity to operate the pumps to move it along. And there was not enough electricity to operate the pumps because environmentalists had seen to it that plans for new coal-powered generating plants had been shuttered back in 2007. So without the coal, there was no electricity, and without the electricity, there was no natural gas. And since much of the natural gas was intended to supply electrical power generating plants, there was even less electricity to supply the pumps and everything else.
The Texas power blackouts affected millions of homeowners and businesses, as well as vital services such as hospitals, schools, and police and fire services. An extended loss of power during periods of extreme temperatures endangers everyone. It cuts off emergency responders from those in need, and it leaves citizens freezing in their homes. The loss of power reduces modern society to an anarchic level where each is left to fend for himself.
Unfortunately, environmentalists in Texas who blocked the construction of coal-powered plants and shut down others during the last decade did not consider these consequences. All that they thought of was that coal is “dirty,” so coal must go. They did not consider what would take its place. Had the coal generating facilities that were planned a decade ago by Texas Power been in place, the rolling blackouts of 2011 might well have been avoided.
As it happened, plans for construction of eight large coal-powered plants were scrapped in 2007 in a private equity deal crafted by the environmental action group, Environmental Defense. Under the agreement, TXU, the Texas power company, agreed to discontinue plans for eight Texas plants, halt construction of coal-powered plants in other states, reduce its carbon footprint to 1990 levels, and endorse the US Climate Action Partnership agenda. This radical transformation of TXU contributed to regulatory approval for takeover of the company by private equity group KKR (Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts).
It is ironic, considering the freezing temperatures that Texans endured during the first week of February, that an agreement to discontinue construction of coal-powered plants was predicated on the now discredited theory of man-made global warming. In order to lower global temperatures, as they imagined, environmentalists pressured TXU to accept a plan that made it impossible for the citizens of Texas to heat their homes.
Can there be any doubt that the agreement to discontinue eight large power plants was a contributing factor in the rolling blackouts of February 2011? The generating capacity supplied by these plants would not have been dependent on the pumping of natural gas. It would have continued to heat homes and businesses, and to power emergency services, throughout the storm. Instead, the state was left depending on an inherently less reliable mix of power sources.
The Texas blackouts are a foretaste of what the rest of the country can expect, given the concerted effort of the Obama administration to shut down coal generating plants and to place obstacles in the way of coal mining. Just weeks ago, the EPA revoked the permit for Arch Coal’s Spruce Number One mine in Virginia, one of the largest coal mining projects in the country. For the past two years, in fact, the EPA has pursued a hyper-aggressive program of enforcement that seems intended to price coal electrical generation out of the market. As in Texas, plans for new coal power plants have been scrubbed. They have been replaced by plants powered by natural gas, and by heavily subsidized wind and solar generation.
The problem is that natural gas plants have not come on line quickly enough to replace the coal generation that has been lost, and wind and solar, which make up only 1% of power generation anyway, are inherently unreliable. The wind does not blow all the time, nor does the sun shine at night. Had the US retained its reliable base of coal power generation, there would be less danger of further blackouts. As it is, much of the country is in danger of experiencing outages similar to those in Texas.
Ironically, the US is in danger of power blackouts at a time when it is exporting greater and greater amount of coal to China and other countries. Already, America is sending 80 million tons of coal overseas, but plans are underway to increase exports by 10% in 2011. Countries overseas understand that coal is the cheapest and most reliable form of energy available for producing electrical power. At a time when America is curtailing its coal generating capacity, China and India are building one new coal generating plant every week. And America is shipping its vital resources overseas even as its citizens are left, quite literally, out in the cold.
Jeffrey Folks is author of many books and articles on American culture and politics.