Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MarketWatch Charges Obama Administration With Doing All It Can To Stop Shale Revolution

On June 17th, MarketWatch ran a commentary by David Kansas that began: "An innovation revolution is underway in the domestic energy market, but the Obama Administration and its allies are doing all they can to thwart it."

Total garbage, though Josh Fox wishes it were true.  America produced more natural gas in 2010 than in any year since 1973.  America produced more gas in 2010 than any nation in the world.

Just ask the Environmental Working Group whether the Obama Administration is doing all that it can to thwart shale gas.   EWG has gone ballistic, attacking as pro-gas 6 of 7 of the Obama Administration's appointments to the so-called Shale Gas Commission that hopefully will make useful recommendations to improve further the performance of gas drilling.

EPA Administrator Jackson just testified to Congress that not one case exists in the nation of frack fluids returning from depth to contaminate water wells or ground water.

The EPA was directed by an Act of Congress to conduct a further study on fracking and its environmental risks.  It is professionally following Congress' command and doing the study. 

To David Kansas, this amounts to pandering to inordinate fears. Total garbage once more

There are inordinate fears that good people have and government can help to deal with them by listening to everyone, responding, and doing so factually.  There are also real issues that need to be addressed and are being in most cases. 

Moreover gas drilling or gas itself is not perfect and never will be.  But gas drilling can and must be excellent.

The shale gas boom offers major opportunities and challenges.  EPA & DOE have vital roles to play in maximizing the opportunities and addressing responsibly the challenges.  Both agencies are meeting their responsibilities.

Finally, the gas industry would do well not to give aid and comfort to the kind of ideological, political attacks launched by David Kansas.  The industry should not confuse questions or concerns with opposition.  Don't make more enemies.


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  2. Concerned ScientistJune 23, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    The worst thing the companies can do is make this a partisan issue. The worst thing the democrats can do is allow this to become a partisan issue. Democrats should be celebrating shale gas. It creates jobs and generates enormous revenues here at home. If you care about working class people and keeping some sort of social safety net you need to find ways to do those two things: create jobs and generate tax revenues.

    On top of that gas is MUCH better for the environment than coal. As you have so clearly stated on this blog, gas really is displacing coal and as a result we are greatly reducing air and water pollution as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Evaluation of shale gas as an energy source must be done in the context of what the realistic alternatives are and at this point the only realistic alternative is coal. That may change, but it is true today.

    Being for well-regulated shale gas development is a political winner for democrats.