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Shale Gas: Manageable Gamechanger Ronald Bailey May, 25, 2011 American Enterprise Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "Shale Gas: Manageable Gamechanger Ronald Bailey May, 25, 2011 American Enterprise Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shale Gas: Manageable Gamechanger Ronald Bailey May, 25, 2011 American Enterprise Institute

2 Where?

3 How Much? In its Annual Energy Outlook 2011 report, the Energy Information Administration estimates that the United States possesses 2,552 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of potential natural gas resources, of which for 827 Tcf resides in shale formations.

4 Gamechange 105 years supply at current consumption 70 years supply if replace all coal-fired electricity 50 year supply if replace all gasoline consumption too.

5 Bridge Fuel Shale gas as a bridge fuel to a 21 st century energy economy – Tim Wirth & John Podesta, 2009 Natural gas is an obvious bridge fuel to the new energy economy – Robert Kennedy Jr., 2009

6 A Bridge No More Is replacing coal with natural gas going to bridge us to clean energy? The answer is no. Every dollar spent on new natural gas wells, pipelines, processing and infrastructure does not bring us closer to wind, solar, and energy efficiency. Quite the opposite: It is taking us in the wrong direction by delaying the transition. – Jennifer Krill, Earth Island Journal Whats really happening here is not a battle between natural gas and coal. Whats happening here is a battle between another dirty fossil fuel and renewable energy. -- Josh Fox, Gasland

7 Levelized costs 2015

8 Fracking Worries? Fracking fluids contaminate drinking water Fracking contaminates wells with methane Fracking production water releases radiation and salts into streams

9 Fracking Fluids …no groundwater pollution or disruption of underground sources of drinking water have been attributed to hydraulic fracturing of deep gas formations. -- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, September, 2010 We found no evidence for contamination of drinking- water samples with deep saline brines or fracturing fluids. -- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 14, 2011

10 Methane in wells …we document systematic evidence for methane contamination of drinking water associated with shale-gas extraction. - - PNAS, April 14, 2011.

11 Radioactive elements? …all samples were at or below background levels of radioactivity; and all samples showed levels below the federal drinking water standard for Radium 226 and 228. – Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection, March 7, 2011

12 Worse Than Coal? The large GHG footprint of shale gas undercuts the logic of its use as a bridging fuel over coming decades, if the goal is to reduce global warming. Howarth et al., Climatic Change, April, 2011

13 Lost and Unaccounted for Gas Lost and unaccounted for gas is the difference between the gas measured into the distribution system and the gas measured out of the utility system or otherwise accounted for, including the change in volume of gas contained by the system (i.e., line pack). The primary cause of LUAF is meter uncertainty…. LUAF is an accounting and ratemaking issue, not an operational issue. -- LOST AND UNACCOUNTED FOR GAS COST RECOVERY MECHANISMS, American Gas Association, 2009

14 Leaks from fracked wells The higher emissions from shale gas occur at the time wells are hydraulically fracturedas methane escapes from flow-back return fluidsand during drill out following the fracturing. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas…. Howarth et al., Climatic Change, April, 2011

15 Gas Fracking - Technological End Run? -- Uses propane instead of water -- No fracking fluids injected -- No production water to treat -- Propane can be recovered -- Wells produce more and sooner

16 The Bridge Remains Recent innovations have given us the opportunity to tap large reserves perhaps a centurys worth of reserves, a hundred years worth of reservesin the shale under our feet. March 30, 2011

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