I've written extensively over the last several years about how the shale gas revolution is transforming the U.S. economy in ways that would have been unimaginable a decade ago. Descriptions of this revolution include:
Mort Zuckerman: "The
good news is that the United States is at the center of a global
energy revolution. Our development of innovative shale-gas technology
offers the prospect of a huge bonanza of natural gas. It's the most positive event in the country's energy outlook in
50 years. This kind of seismic shift in the energy landscape is rare.
Robin West, chairman and CEO of PFC Energy:"This shale gale, I describe it as the energy equivalent of the Berlin Wall coming down. This is a big deal."
: "It's the most dramatic change that is happening
beneath the surface of the U.S. economy today.
As the rest of the world
struggles with oil prices that are very expensive both nominally and
in real terms, the U.S., thanks to new fracking technology, is enjoying
natural gas prices that are plunging. Even as crude oil prices have
surged over the past 13 years from $12/bbl to over $100, natural gas has dropped by an astounding 85% relative to crude oil.
We've never seen anything like this.
The U.S. now enjoys an incredible energy price
advantage that not only is transforming industries, but
that should be an important source of growth for the entire economy. This could be the best reason to be bullish."
And we now have another reason to celebrate the game-changing effects of shale gas from John Hanger
- it's good for the environment:
"Natural gas will cut U.S. carbon emissions by at least 300 million tons in 2012
alone. How much is 300 million tons? It is about equal to the entire annual
carbon emissions of Pennsylvania or an amount a little less than 1% of annual
global emissions. It's a lot. No single change in the energy marketplace [MP: or public policy] in the last decade has yielded more
carbon reductions than the displacement of coal generation by natural gas.
The fact that the rise of natural gas has avoided more carbon than
any other single change in the marketplace is proving inconvenient to those who
bash gas. The rise of gas is also slashing sulfur dioxide, mercury, soot and
other emissions that cause hundreds of thousands of illnesses each year.
Ignoring these facts betrays our health, environment, and economy."