What are the costs and benefits of the shale gas revolution? It's a big question, answered by a new paper.
While not everyone benefits equally from the shale gas revolution, and some have lost from the sweeping changes it has brought, researchers affiliated with Yale University calculate that shale gas delivers more than $100 billion per year of net benefits to the US economy and people. The paper can be read here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2085027.
The paper concludes at page 12 that annual benefits exceed costs by 400 to 1. It reaches this conclusion by assuming that 10,000 wells are drilled nationally each year and that 1% of the wells cause major damage estimated at $2.5 million per event or damages of $250 million per year.
The paper is worth reading.