Skip to comments.Shale Gas Revolution
Posted on 11/04/2011 11:09:22 AM PDT by neverdem
The United States is a country that has received many blessings, and once upon a time you could assume that Americans would come together to take advantage of them. But you can no...
The shale gas revolution challenges the coal industry, renders new nuclear plants uneconomic and changes the economics for the renewable energy companies, which are now much further from viability...
These problems are real, but not insurmountable. An exhaustive study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded, With 20,000 shale wells drilled in the last 10 years, the environmental record of shale-gas development is for the most part a good one. In other words, the inherent risks can be managed if there is a reasonable regulatory regime, and if the general public has a balanced and realistic sense of the costs and benefits.
This kind of balance is exactly what our political system doesnt deliver. So far, the Obama administration has done a good job of trying to promote fracking while investigating the downsides. But the general public seems to be largely uninterested in the breakthrough (even though it could have a major impact on the 21st-century economy). The discussion is dominated by vested interests and the extremes. Its becoming another weapon in the political wars, with Republicans swinging behind fracking and Democrats being pressured to come out against. Especially in the Northeast, the gas companies are demonized as Satan in corporate form.
A few weeks ago, I sat around with John Rowe, one of the most trusted people in the energy business, and listened to him talk enthusiastically about this windfall. He has no vested interest in this; indeed, his company might be hurt. But he knows how much shale gas could mean to America. It would be a crime if we squandered this blessing.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I'll be surprised if David Brooks keeps writing OpEds for the NY Times.
We have more than a century to get alternative energy right without unwarranted subsidies! Coal, thorium, fusion, etc., who knows?
I’m surprised he could take his eyes off Obama’s trousers long enough study shale gas.
I’m confused. Where is the angle? NY Times?
Wait! Shale gas endangers the “Green Energy Industry”? That’s bad. No. That’s good. Right?
He said we should do more and not squander this opportunity. What does that mean?!!!
I am missing where he demonizes all fossil fuels and talks about the end of the world because of MMGW.
(I am making an appointment with my shrink)
Did Hell just freeze over ? Are there pigs flying outside my window ?
Spirit bears from a very common recessive allele in black bears? There’s more than Mendelian genetics these days with copy number variation of genes and epigenetics. Thanks for the link.
Why does this have to be an “either/or” situation ?
TBS the U.S. has vast gas reserves! But electricity is the most convenient and distributable power we have. Why not develop cleaner and more applicable nuclear power to provide - not only our own citizens - but the world community with abundant electrical power whose design forstalls any “weaponization” of its fuel ?
And why not use that “gas bonanza” to power motor vehicles in urban areas ? Or provide fertilizer to crop lands to create more food ? >PS
Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
Thanks for the ping!
Yeah. Democrats have to be pressured to be against domestic fuel. </sarcasm>
Unfortunately, a "combined cycle" natural gas generating plant beats the pants off nuclear plant costs and generation efficiency. Nuclear just cannot compete with them.
"And why not use that gas bonanza to power motor vehicles in urban areas ?
Actually, the first vehicles to make the change will probably be long-haul trucks. The problem is infrastructure. It's a lot easier to put natgas capacity in a "few" truckstops than to provide same for "urban areas".
"Or provide fertilizer to crop lands to create more food.
Natural gas is already the prime energy source to produce fertilizer.
“And why not use that gas bonanza to power motor vehicles in urban areas ?
However, it would be easier to switch all metro buses and school buses over to natural gas. Also, local delivery vehicles such as UPS and postal service trucks could be switched. These vehicles tend to operate from a central hub location where refueling could occur.
This is where the govt. can actually help by offering a tax credit to compensate for the cost to switching to a new fuel source.
There are a number of trucking companies that are switching to natural gas, either compressed or LNG. Currently, LNG is about half the cost of diesel (on an energy-equivalent basis). Converting trucks to dual-fuel (LNG/diesel) is expensive, but with more demand we can expect that truck manufacturers will start producing trucks that come off the assembly line as dual-fuel.
Hey I'm all in favor of natural gas, but they need to stand on their own. The NG delivery network of pipelines is already in place, which should be extremely helpful. No more tax credits for favorite industries.
In fact, we are SO addicted to tax credit crap that there are companies HOLDING BACK because they are waiting for a tax credit program they like..
Yup, and I think it was that posting of yours that prompted my comment here.
Certainly true. Any vehicle usage that fuels from a central store, and doesn't need re-filling away from that central store can be switched. VERY easily if the vehicle is gasoline..less so if diesel.
I was thinking more in terms of "general use" vehicles (including personal). There "are" alternatives. If you already have natgas piped to your home, there are "home fueling systems" that will "fill your tank" overnight by compressing that gas.
But I think the idea of having SEPARATE "filling stations" for CNG instead of adding natgas facility to existing "filling stations" is ridiculous.
I agree. It is a great idea. But it has to make economic sense. When it does, the school systems and delivery services will switch over.
Interesting thread bump. Thanks for the read.
I'm also waiting to see LNG-powered locomotives. The Russians are working on LNG powered aircraft
Ought to be a relatively trivial exercise. After all, the "gas turbine" part of a combined cycle natural-gas fired generating plant "is" a jet engine.
While I agree trucks are the most likely “first step” it won’t be “long-haul” units ! Most likely are urban/suburban delivery aps ! The weight penalty and power density issues will preclude NG in that ap unless desperation - or government stupididty - sets in! >PS
Well, obviously I agree (see post upthread). My position is more correctly that long-haul trucks will probably be the first "extra-urban" application to switch. It's a lot easier to install natgas facilities at interstate truck stops than in every existing service station.
"The weight penalty and power density issues will preclude NG in that ap unless desperation - or government stupididty - sets in!"
THIS I don't agree with. I think the cost differential is already causing movement to adoption (viz. "PapaBears" comments upthread).