Forget wind power. Forget solar. Forget renewable energy. The release of the natural gas industry’s Truthland documentary is further confirmation of where the real frontline in the energy v environment debate lies: the technique of hydraulic fracturing ‘fracking’ – the process that has opened up a whole new global hydrocarbon energy frontier.
And the same technique that is currently transforming America’s dependency on foreign energy imports and its manufacturing industries.
The hard facts are indisputable. The shale gas revolution (which is lately being matched by a shale oil revolution) has already halved domestic gas prices in the U.S. That, in turn, has led to a flat-lining of international gas prices in what is rightly being hailed as the Golden Age of Gas. Ironically, the US is also presiding over a drop in CO2 emissions which makes regulatory efforts elsewhere pale into insignificance, all because cheaper natural gas has led to a significant electrical power switch from coal. Natural gas is rapidly becoming the U.S. fuel of choice to generate electricity. What the fracking of gas and oil offers the US is centuries more hydrocarbons at a significantly cheaper cost than current renewable technologies. And, despite President Obama’s relentless antagonism towards the oil and gas industries (his State of the Union address in January completely ignored hydrocarbons) market forces have ensured that the shale revolution threatens, almost single-handedly, to rescue the US economy.
Talk of energy independence, laughable just five years ago, has now become a serious topic of conversation.