The "Shale Revolution" is overblown, two new reports suggest.
A pair of new reports from the Post Carbon Institute and the Energy Policy Forum suggest that the explosion in unconventional natural gas drilling isn't all it's cracked up to be. As studies and reports of water and air contamination continue to surface, these two reports outline less-talked-about problems like projecting more gas than really exists and a potential financial bubble.
As drilling hype continues, communities around the country are fighting the ramp-up of natural gas drilling and associated infrastructure. A major concern? Fossil fuel companies are leveling old-growth forests and plowing through wetlands and the highest-quality streams with the cleanest water to build pipelines that may eventually wind up sending the gas overseas because the market is flooded in the U.S.
The two latest reports come from a former oil and gas geologist and a Wall Street analyst, collectively busting these myths.
Myth #1: The "Shale Revolution" is here to stay.
Former oil and gas geologist J. David Hughes, a fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, recently published a piece in the highly regarded journal Nature showing that industry estimates of shale-gas production are not accurate and won't last as long as anticipated. Despite politicians-even President Obama-touting U.S. natural gas shale reserves that will power American for 100 years, the reality is that the destruction created by pipelines and fracking sites may not be worth it in the long run. "I see supplies of shale gas declining substantially in the next decade unless prices rise considerably. A more realistic debate around shale gas and tight oil is urgently needed-one that accounts for the fundamentals of production in terms of sustainability, cost, and environmental impact," Hughes wrote in Nature.