Monday, July 02, 2012

More Shockingly Good News from Shale Gas: CO2 Emissions Will Likely Fall This Year to 1991 Levels

John Hanger points out on his energy blog that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have fallen so sharply in the first three months of 2012 according to new data from the EIA, that total CO2 emissions this year are on track to drop to the lowest level since 1991, see chart above.

The key driver for the "shockingly good news" that CO2 emissions will probably fall this year to a two-decade low according to John is "the shale gas revolution, and the low-priced gas that it has made a reality, especially in the last 12 months. As of April, gas tied coal at 32% of the electric power generation market, nearly ending coal's 100 year reign on top of electricity markets (see related CD post on this energy milestone).  Let's remember the speed and extent of gas's rise and coal's drop: coal had 52% of the market in 2000 and 48% in 2008."

Indeed, as the chart above shows, it took 16 years for CO2 emissions to rise from 5,000 to 6,000 million metric tons, and then thanks to the shale gas revolution, only five years to go from 6,000 back down to 5,000 million metric tons. 

John Hanger's bottom line: "America's carbon emissions may drop back close to 1990 levels this year. That result would have been thought impossible, even at the end of 2011.

But the shale gas revolution makes a reality many things recently thought impossible.  It was thought impossible to slash carbon US carbon emissions back to 1990 levels by 2012.  It was thought impossible to massively, quickly cut carbon emissions and, at the same time, have lower energy bills.

Shale gas production has slashed carbon emissions and saved consumers more than $100 billion per year.  Truly astonishing!"

MP: And unlike renewable energies like solar that reduce carbon emissions but are uneconomical even with billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars, the shale gas revolution has reduced CO2 emissions significantly without any taxpayer support and wasn't even part of any intentional energy policy from Washington, or any regulatory directive from the EPA.

Welcome to the shale gas revolution!

50 Comments:

At 7/03/2012 12:15 AM, Blogger Scott Drum said...

Economics be damned. I'm still supporting massive investments in solar. What good is controlling the White House if you can't make all the economic decisions?

 
At 7/03/2012 12:19 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Why are lower CO2 emmissions good news?

Unless you mean it will reduce the incidence of hair tearing and garment rending by alarmists.

 
At 7/03/2012 12:21 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Scott:

"Economics be damned. I'm still supporting massive investments in solar. What good is controlling the White House if you can't make all the economic decisions?"

Well there IS something to be said about making good ones. Something I don't believe I've yet seen.

But what do I know?

 
At 7/03/2012 1:43 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"...thanks to the shale gas revolution, only five years to go from 6,000 back down to 5,000 million metric tons."

We can also thank the deep depression. Chart:

http://stateofworkingamerica.org/charts/output-gap-real-gdp-compared-to-potential-gdp-2000-11/

And further thanks to a slowing economy from 1.9% real growth in the first quarter to 1% and perhaps a recession soon.

Of course, the E.U.-17 is doing its share too:

Eurozone unemployment rises to 11.1 percent in May, highest rate since euro was established
July 2, 2012

Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, said unemployment rose to 11.1 percent in May.

Six countries in the eurozone, including Spain and Italy, are in recession.

“...indicate ongoing labour market weakness, with further deterioration highly likely in the second half of the year.”

 
At 7/03/2012 4:26 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

What good is controlling federal agencies, and creating huge renewable, subsidized, socialist do-goody energy programs, like the biggest one, ethanol.

First we give corn farmers $85 billion in subsidies since 1995, then we mandate a market for ethanol.

But let's whimper about the much, much smaller (and still loathsome) solar power programs.

 
At 7/03/2012 6:29 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Benjimin-

Small point of fact: Ethanol subsidies in the form of payments to corn growers ended at the beginning of the year. We do still subsidize production in other ways, but not in corn payments.

 
At 7/03/2012 6:30 AM, Blogger Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

CO2 emissions are cratering because production and other economic activity is cratering. There is no good news about reduced CO2 emissions.

AGW is a scam. CO2 is plant food. Increased CO2 = greatly increased crop yields. It also equals more biota in the seas (contrary to the ocean acidification scammers claim.

 
At 7/03/2012 6:31 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Peak-

You make a good point, but this chart is carbon emissions from the energy sector. Electricity generation is around the pre-recession level, so we are generating more/equal electricity with less carbon emissions.

 
At 7/03/2012 6:35 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

CO2 emissions are cratering because production and other economic activity is cratering.

This is CO2 emissions from the energy sector. Doesn't take into account directly emissions from plants. Even if production was "cratering" (which it's not), it would not immediately be reflected in these numbers, especially since electricity generation is around pre-recession levels.

 
At 7/03/2012 7:17 AM, Blogger Moe said...

Locally (U.S.) it looks good! - the global chart is a bit more sobering.

 
At 7/03/2012 7:51 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Here's something else worth considering:

The US now is generating 39.8% more electricity then we did in 1991.

 
At 7/03/2012 8:20 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

this is terrible news if you are an american plant.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/30/memo-to-doubtersi-was-tempted-to-say-deniersco2-is-plant-food/

 
At 7/03/2012 8:58 AM, Blogger magilson said...

"the shale gas revolution has reduced CO2 emissions significantly without any taxpayer support and wasn't even part of any intentional energy policy from Washington, or any regulatory directive from the EPA."

That's just incorrect unless you restrict your focus so narrowly as to only look at the last few years where the tech and the resources have finally met in placed like ND, OH, TX, and PA.

http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2011/12/new_investigation_finds_decade.shtml

This shale gas revolution started several decades ago with a commitement to an energy policy that focused on technological improvements and alternative sources.

Throwing money at Solyndra is silly and ignores what this successful energy policy taught us. Public investment in research yields results, although sometimes slow (and not as a general rule to be sure). Public "investment" into a profit-seaking entity is crony-capitalism, bad policy and doesn't work.

 
At 7/03/2012 9:01 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/27/10886373-end-of-coal-power-plants-epa-proposes-new-rules?lite

someone should tell the white house before they push this ruinous policy through the EPA.

 
At 7/03/2012 9:10 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

and, of course the green navy is looking like a typical federal disaster.

it's difficult to know where to even start making fun of this.

ohh. let's pay 7 times the going rate for fuel. good plan.

"Why should we worry about 5c or 10c on a gallon of fuel down the local gas station when the US Navy (in all her glory) is willing to pay a staggering $26-a-gallon for ‘green’ synthetic biofuel(made we assume from the very same unicorn tears and leprechaun nipples that funded the ESM). AsReuters reports, the ‘Great Green Fleet’ will be the first carrier strike group powered largely by alternative fuels; as the Pentagon hopes it can prove the Navy looks just as impressive burning fuel squeezed from seeds, algae, and chicken fat (we did not make this up). The story gets better as it appears back in 2009, the Navy paid Solazyme (whose strategic advisors included TJ Gaulthier who served on Obama’s White House Transition team) $8.5mm for 20,055 gallons on algae-based biofuel – a snip at just $424-a-gallon."

 
At 7/03/2012 9:19 AM, Blogger Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

morganovich:

Yet the Navy in the 90's retired its nuclear powered cruisers when they still had a decade or more service life left in them (Virgina Class cruisers).

 
At 7/03/2012 9:20 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,

"First we give corn farmers $85 billion in subsidies since 1995, then we mandate a market for ethanol."

You need to see an analyst about your ethanol obsession, especially since the real ag money is in the food stamps spending that has doubled since your boyfriend took office. Nearly 80 percent of the nearly $1 trillion Farm Bill will fund an expanded food stamp program that is projected to offer increased benefits long after economists expect the economy will have recovered.

"But let's whimper about the..."

But let's hijack yet another thread to whine about ethanol.

 
At 7/03/2012 9:41 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

HIL newark-

wanna bet this has something to do with tighter budgets? milspend is dropping, but i'll bet there was money for "green" so the navy actually winds up saving/getting more money by paying 7X market rates for a product.

gotta love federal incentives.

 
At 7/03/2012 9:54 AM, Blogger Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

It had to do with the higher staffing requirements for the nukes. Plus, the ships were due for refueling and upgraded electronics. It was considered a bargain at the time to scrap them.

Given we are now on the 4th (or is it 5th?) generation of reactors, maybe the navy should take a look at nukes again for the rest of its capital ships (not just subs and carriers)? I would surmise that the staffing requirements and complexity of the systems would be far less than they were in the 60's and 70's.

 
At 7/03/2012 9:58 AM, Blogger marmico said...

The decline in petroleum use; think gasoline, diesel and jet fuel; has been slashed since peak 2006 CO2 carbon emissions, not the substitution of coal to natural gas in electric utilities and industrial uses.

Hanger is barking up the wrong tree. Petroleum emissions have declined almost 12% and the coal/gas combo emissions have declined 4% from 2006 to 2011. The coal/gas combo were 58% of total emissions in 2011.

So there is a smaller percentage decline in a larger share of emissions. Shale gas is not leading the emission decline just yet.

 
At 7/03/2012 10:15 AM, Blogger Moe said...

Morganoich,

You're completely discounting the peace of mind our enemies will attain knowing they died green.

 
At 7/03/2012 10:35 AM, Blogger Trey said...

True words, Mark: “the shale gas revolution … wasn't even part of any intentional energy policy from Washington, or any regulatory directive from the EPA.”

But progressives want to give govt some credit. See this and accompanying WaPo link:

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/12/government-role-in-shale-gas-innovation.html

Who took the real risk on fracking innovation? George Mitchell, with A LOT of his own money.

 
At 7/03/2012 10:44 AM, Blogger magilson said...

Trey,

To speak in the absolute terms that Professor Perry did is simple wrong. Government may have played a small role or a big role depending on perspective. But to insinuate or outright claim government did not aid in early research and dollars is completely false.

I'm largely libertarian and can clearly see this. And I provided evidence to the positive of this claim. Government did play a positive role early on. As I said, the only way one could lay this advancement totally on the private sector is if one ignored the past 40 years and focused myopically on the last 4 to 6.

It's just a bit more complicated than that.

 
At 7/03/2012 10:44 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

HIL newark-

i meant the choice for "green" fuels, not the cruisers.

moe-

will they get eco virgins in the next life?

 
At 7/03/2012 10:49 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

magilson-

and just what role was that? i see government lining up against fracking, not for it.

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/01/31/the-fracking-truth-on-governments-role-in-natural-gas-production/

tall tales about the government being behind fracking are second only to government inventing the internet in terms of being complete revisionist nonsense.

this is a market driven event and would have happened regardless of the government and faster if they would be better around leases and permits.

government "development" of fracking etc is a zen parade-master. find a a parade already in progress and get in front of it by calling R+D taxbreaks any industry would get "subsidies for oil".

 
At 7/03/2012 11:46 AM, Blogger magilson said...

I'm not going to re-post for those who don't bother to read a bit. But I'll break it down one.last.time.

"the shale gas revolution has reduced CO2 emissions significantly without any taxpayer support and wasn't even part of any intentional energy policy from Washington, or any regulatory directive from the EPA."

And here AGAIN is the link I provided.

http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2011/12/new_investigation_finds_decade.shtml

The assertion made by the Heritage author is that anyone who talks about government and shale thinks shale was the sole idea and product of government intervention. Obviously that's false. But it is also completely and utterly false to believe the shale revolution has come about without any aid from government in the form of tax dollars or directives.

I am not speaking in absolutes. However some of you are just as Professor Perry did. And you're all just flat wrong. The Heritage article and many of you correctly argue this President ha fought in many ways to stock fracking and in others has given it a pass with safety regulations having been added. Again, it's just not so cut and dry.

Was it mostly private industry? Sure. Did the government figure out the supply chains and production methods and commercialization? Nope. Never said that either.

So all I'm asking for is a little humility and some caution. Because mining for Shale in the US is a GREAT THING. And by speaking in clearly ideological absolutes you give an easy out for people to dismiss you. And it would be a shame for them to loose out on the other information that clearly indicates we're on the right path with mining this way in the US.

 
At 7/03/2012 11:53 AM, Blogger magilson said...

morganovich,

Read the link I already posted. Save your absolutes for the poorly informed. Professor Perry CLEARLY spoke in absolutes. This is why he and you are wrong. Fracking and the shale revolution are positives for the US economy. I would not argue it should be stopped. I would also argue President Obama has done some things to hinder it's growth on public lands. On private lands safety requirements were largely the "impedances" placed on the technology.

A bit of humility would go a long way toward turning the minds of the people who despise fracking. By speaking in finger-pointing absolutes without historical background just hurts, not helps, the furtherment of this prosperity generating advance.

 
At 7/03/2012 12:10 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

magilson-

i did read your link. did you read mine?

further, i did not speak in absolutes. either your reading comprehension seems to be failing you here or that was just a pure straw man.

precisely where was the "absolute"?

accusing others of being poorly informed while not even being able to understand what they are saying is unlikely to impress anyone.

save your rhetorical tricks for the hard of thinking.

 
At 7/03/2012 12:13 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"While U.S. energy companies began fracking for gas in the late 1990s, there was a dramatic increase in 2005 after the administration of President George W. Bush exempted fracking from regulations under the U.S. Clean Water Act. According to Washington's energy Information Agency, shale gas production has grown 48 percent annually. ...

...during the UN climate change conference in Durban last week, Dominic Frongillo, a town councillor from Caroline, New York, which is atop the Marcellus Shale seam, estimated to contain 489 trillion cubic feet of extractable natural gas noted that "Before I left for Durban, Professor Howarth told me that "preventing unconventional gas extraction could be the number one thing we could do in the short term to control growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions." -- The Rig Zone

 
At 7/03/2012 12:33 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

fwiw

these stories of governmental 3d seismic leadership are massively exaggerated.

i've done work on that space. it was all privately developed and more hindered than helped by government who tried to stop it in many cases due to the explosions they use to generate a sound wave in the earth.

such projects as they were involved with were hardly pioneering and were just hand outs to projects that would have been done anyway.

of course industry folks will say glowing things about the government. what do you expect them to do? antagonize regulators and the guys who sign leases and permits?

those claims about hydraulic fracking are decades late. HF was first used in the us in the 40's.

vermont just banned it btw.

at absolute best, the government just accelrated shale by a few years. but horizontal drilling was just a bit better directional drilling. MHF was just bigger HF.

the developments were not breakthroughs, just incremental engineering.

http://knowledgeproblem.com/2011/12/20/did-the-federal-government-invent-the-shale-gas-boom/

it all would have happened anyway.

ascribing this boom to invaluable federal R+D is a pretty outlandish stretch.

 
At 7/03/2012 1:13 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Morganovich / Moe:

"Eco-virgins" is a bit of a misnomer. Thanks to the new heavenly recycling program, green death yields only 72 women for all to share under Tap and Trade rules.

 
At 7/03/2012 1:29 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Unless you mean it will reduce the incidence of hair tearing and garment rending by alarmists"...

LMAO!

Very good ron h, I needed a chuckle...

Speaking of alarmists have you ever had the chance to peruse this site called grist?

 
At 7/03/2012 1:34 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/stossel/blog/2012/07/03/green-energy-myth

great list of failed green government investments.

this is NOT a small amount of money.

$3 billion in BK losses in 3.5 years would pretty much sink any private VC fund.

breathtaking.

 
At 7/03/2012 1:55 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

$3 billion in BK losses in 3.5 years would pretty much sink any private VC fund.

I came across this article some months ago and forgot to share it.

Long story short, the Obama Administration asked for a risk review of its loans to energy companies. The report came back saying about $3 billion was at risk. The Administration's response: "The report confirms that the overall loan portfolio as a whole is expected to perform well and holds less than the amount of risk envisioned by Congress when they designed and funded the program." I am no investor, but if my portfolio was expected to lose $3 billion in a year, I would not consider that performing well.

Then, there is the implied fact of that statement: the Administration/Congress had expected those loans to do worse.

 
At 7/03/2012 2:19 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos

"Speaking of alarmists have you ever had the chance to peruse this site called grist?"

Yaeh, once. That was enough.

 
At 7/03/2012 2:43 PM, Blogger Moe said...

well played Mike!

 
At 7/03/2012 2:45 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Yeah, props to Mike for that one!

 
At 7/03/2012 2:46 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Magilson says: "Government did play a positive role early on."

Too many people are ignorant of opportunity costs. When government spends $2 to generate $1 of value, it destroys $1 of capital.

The private sector could've spent that $2 to generate $3 of value, including creating $0.50 of consumer surplus and $0.50 of capital.

 
At 7/03/2012 3:15 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

One thing we do know is, largely because of its function, governments are reactive, not proactive.

Governments are notoriously terrible at recognizing economic/social trends. Most investments by government come when the project is well underway, which usually means any return the government will see is often diminished because the risk is lower. When the government does decide to play venture capitalist, it is often on politically popular projects that are widely considered poor investments.

Now, every once in a while the government will strike gold on an investment (a lot of consumer technology came out of the space program). But those instances are few and far between. The win-loss record for the government is quite stark.

 
At 7/03/2012 3:23 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Thanks for that Stossel link morganovich...

Try this one out, its an Op/Ed from IBT: Government Motors: As GM shares near record low, taxpayer loss on bailout rises to $35 billion

 
At 7/03/2012 4:10 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

well to be fair:

" The United States currently pays around $20 billion per year to farmers in direct subsidies as "farm income stabilization""

" Corn is the top crop for subsidy payments. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandates that billions of gallons of ethanol be blended into vehicle fuel each year, guaranteeing demand, but US corn ethanol subsidies are between $5.5 billion and $7.3 billion per year. "

" The three largest fossil fuel subsidies were:
Foreign tax credit ($15.3 billion)
Credit for production of non-conventional fuels ($14.1 billion)
Oil and Gas exploration and development expensing ($7.1 billion)
The three largest renewable fuel subsidies were:
Alcohol Credit for Fuel Excise Tax ($11.6 billion)
Renewable Electricity Production Credit ($5.2 billion)
Corn-Based Ethanol ($5.0 billion)"

" the mortgage deduction has evolved into the second-most expensive tax subsidy in the behemoth code, costing the federal government $99.8 billion in missed revenues in fiscal 2011 alone. "

and the biggest subsidy?

$675 billion - Employers' Contributions for Health Care, Health Insurance Programs, and Long-Term Care Insurance Premiums:

the solar subsidies are tiny in comparison

 
At 7/03/2012 4:31 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"the solar subsidies are tiny in comparison"...

Which in 'libtard speak' must mean that it is extorted tax dollars well spent...

"The three largest fossil fuel subsidies were:
Foreign tax credit ($15.3 billion)
Credit for production of non-conventional fuels ($14.1 billion)
Oil and Gas exploration and development expensing ($7.1 billion)
The three largest renewable fuel subsidies were:
Alcohol Credit for Fuel Excise Tax ($11.6 billion)
Renewable Electricity Production Credit ($5.2 billion)
Corn-Based Ethanol ($5.0 billion)"
"...

Top 3 U.S. Oil Companies Paid $42.8 Billion in Income Taxes in 2010

"and the biggest subsidy?

$675 billion - Employers' Contributions for Health Care, Health Insurance Programs, and Long-Term Care Insurance Premiums
"...

Meanwhile extorted tax dollars spent by politicos on pandering: Federal welfare spending alone totals more than $14,848 for every poor man, woman, and child in this country...

Oh yeah! I forgot one minor detail, the cost of federal regulatory over reach costs regulatory burden = $1.8 trillion...

 
At 7/03/2012 4:34 PM, Blogger Paul said...

" The three largest fossil fuel subsidies were:
Foreign tax credit ($15.3 billion)
Credit for production of non-conventional fuels ($14.1 billion)
Oil and Gas exploration and development expensing ($7.1 billion)"

Those are deductions, similiar to what other businesses get. We have them in order to encourage more production. Oil and gas still pay an incredible amount of overall taxes, much higher than the average of all other S&P Industrials.
In 2011 the top 3 oil giants each paid more in income taxes than any other corporation in America.

So it's an entirely different situation from taxpayer handouts to solar companies.

 
At 7/03/2012 9:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M:

"I am no investor..."

Neither is Obama.

"Then, there is the implied fact of that statement: the Administration/Congress had expected those loans to do worse."

That's very possible, even likely.

Of course you are naively assuming, as any reasonable person would, that "performing well" means making money for the investors. That may have a different meaning in politico-speak.

 
At 7/03/2012 9:43 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

LOL...Great news that the real economy is in decline?

 
At 7/03/2012 9:44 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

the solar subsidies are tiny in comparison

No. They are huge given the amount of energy that solar produces.

 
At 7/04/2012 12:41 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"and the biggest subsidy?

$675 billion - Employers' Contributions for Health Care, Health Insurance Programs, and Long-Term Care Insurance Premiums:
"

You didn't mention where you were reading this nonsense, but the employer contributions to employee health care and insurance premiums are not a subsidy. They are part of the labor cost of each employee.
Part of the employee's total compensation.

Would you consider employer paid unemployment insurance premiums to be a subsidy? Workman's Comp premiums? Sick days, vacation, retirement?

 
At 7/04/2012 9:46 AM, Blogger F. said...

CO2 is not and has never been a pollutant. CO2 is a beneficial trace gas, without which nothing would be green.

Yes.. Shale gas is a great thing, but this isn't the way to promote it. By touting shale gas on the grounds that CO2 levels are falling as a result of it, we're granting our sanction to the junk science that the entire bogus climate change / global warming hoax is based on. It's pure BULL$HIT! The more CO2 we have in the atmosphere the better off we are.

There's no virtue whatsoever in cutting CO2 levels, in fact many REAL scientists have made the case recently that higher CO2 are to our advantage. CO2 is plant food. Increasing CO2 makes the world a greener place. CO2 levels don't drive temperature change, it's the other way around. Rising temperatures cause CO2 levels to rise, because the solubility of CO2 in water is reduced when the temperatures go up.

We're about to enter what promises to be a prolonged period of cooling which will make everyone on earth wish that the earth were warming again. WARMING IS GOOD! Crops don't grow and people starve when the earth goes through a cooling period.

The only way we're going to win the war against the eco-fascists who are pushing a one-world globalist agenda is if we start to get our facts straight and stick to a rational and consistent argument. Man made global warming is is LIE. it's the sun stupid!

fs

 
At 7/04/2012 10:08 AM, Blogger Chuck Howerton said...

Whoop-de-doo! The article is very cleverly worded and the chart is distorted to give the impression that a new age has dawned with the use of shale Gas.

While I cannot speak to the accuracy of the data some interesting "facts" have been omitted.

First, the chart as presented is only the top of a much taller complete chart which would be 6 times higher than what is shown with a resultant difference of only 16% as opposed to the enormous difference shown between the top and the bottom as shown.

Second, if you check the data from which the chart was derived, it shows that CO2 emissions are almost 30% higher that the 1990 figures with a projected 2012 CO2 from natural gas of approximately 1300 million metric tons while the 1990 figure is 1025 metric tons.

Third, a review of the figures shows that emissions from coal are down about the same percentage but natural gas used for energy production from all sources is only about 25% while coal is still about 33%.

Fourth, the article implies that the reduction is due solely to shale gas as a fuel while the figures do not differentiate between shale gas and other natural gas sources.

Fifth, the chart only shows the "improvement" from energy production in the USA, not the total reduction of CO2 from all sources everywhere.

So, rah, rah, rah, for us!

This guy is in the pocket of the American shale gas lobby and his interpretation of the actual data shows it. Nothing is said about the damage that is done to the environment by the processes used to extract the shale gas, especially fracking nor the cost of producing it as opposed to natural gas from other sources.

 
At 7/04/2012 3:34 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

@Chuck

"Whoop-de-doo! The article is very cleverly worded and the chart is distorted to give the impression that a new age has dawned with the use of shale Gas."

First of all, it is the absolute height of irony that anyone discussing CO2 emissions - assuming their interest is the effect it has on global temperature - could accuse anyone of manipulating data to show a desired outcome. Perhaps you haven't kept up with the current state of fraud and corruption in the so called "climate science" space.

You seem to be missing the larger point that CO2 emissions in the US have been reduced by natural market forces, instead of top down dictates from government, whereas countries that have set goals and promised reductions have mostly failed to meet their objectives. Whether reduced CO2 emissions are good or bad isn't even part of the issue.

"First, the chart as presented is only the top of a much taller complete chart which would be 6 times higher than what is shown with a resultant difference of only 16% as opposed to the enormous difference shown between the top and the bottom as shown."

This is not a good argument. While it is legitimate to emphasize changes by showing only a portion of a chart, most charts showing changes in CO2 levels, emissions levels and especially temperature use this very technique to emphasize changes that are intended to alarm us, so you might want to consider whether calling the kettle black is really your best strategy.

"Second, if you check the data from which the chart was derived, it shows that CO2 emissions are almost 30% higher that the 1990 figures with a projected 2012 CO2 from natural gas of approximately 1300 million metric tons while the 1990 figure is 1025 metric tons.

Third, a review of the figures shows that emissions from coal are down about the same percentage but natural gas used for energy production from all sources is only about 25% while coal is still about 33%.
"

It's not clear why you think that's important, but this seems like a good time to point out that total energy generation is also 30% higher than it was in 1990.

"Fourth, the article implies that the reduction is due solely to shale gas as a fuel while the figures do not differentiate between shale gas and other natural gas sources."

A more careful reading might suggest that the so called "shale revolution" and resultant abundance of natural gas has caused prices to tumble, thus making gas from every source a more attractive source of energy.

"Fifth, the chart only shows the "improvement" from energy production in the USA, not the total reduction of CO2 from all sources everywhere."

Which is, of course, the intent and scope of the article. What is your point?

"This guy is in the pocket of the American shale gas lobby and his interpretation of the actual data shows it."

That is such a tired argument as to not be taken seriously, nor does it require a response.

"Nothing is said about the damage that is done to the environment by the processes used to extract the shale gas especially the fracking..."

And what is that? Please be specific.

"...nor the cost of producing it as opposed to natural gas from other sources."

What is your point here? A more expensive method of producing natural gas has resulted in a glut of it which has lowered the price dramatically for all natural gas, and has caused users to prefer it to coal and other sources that have become more expensive in comparison. Is there a *bad thing* in there somewhere?

 

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