August 18, 2016

A BUNCH OF PRESIDENTS TALKED “ENERGY INDEPENDENCE,” BUT IT WAS THE PRIVATE SECTOR THAT HAS MOVED THE BALL: The World Is Gassing Up on US Shale.

We already know that oil drilled from U.S. shale is leading the rise in global crude output—after all, those U.S. supplies were what helped create the glut that sent oil prices crashing from more than $110 per barrel two years ago to under $50 today—but new projections suggest that U.S. frackers will be key drivers of growth in another hydrocarbon market in the coming years: that of natural gas. . . .

The United States already produces the lion’s share of the world’s shale gas, and those fracked hydrocarbons make up the majority of U.S. natural gas production as well. But Canada, Argentina, and China are all beginning to chase after that shale bandwagon, producing small but significant quantities of fracked gas, and in the coming decades Algeria and, importantly, Mexico will hope to join the club.

Shale producers have so far struggled outside of the United States, running up against any number of hurdles—from poor geology to water scarcity, from opaque government regulations to NIMBYism—but countries and companies will refine their methods and eventually start tapping shale reserves abroad on a commercial scale. The United States will continue to lead the pack, but with Canada and Mexico both ready to join in on this energy boom, North America as a whole is emerging as a new center of global energy supplies.

All of this shale gas is helping to keep natural gas prices down, which in turn is helping to topple Old King Coal from his perch as the world’s cheapest source of power. That’s not just good news for the developing world, it’s also good news for Gaia: natural gas emits far fewer local pollutants and roughly half as much carbon as coal.

And yet Greens are overwhelmingly anti-fracking. That’s the sort of behavior you’d expect from tools of Putin and the Saudis, not Gaia-worshipers.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.