Shale Gas has the potential to bring manifold benefits to Americans: cheap and plentiful, relatively green and clean burning, located in vast swaths underneath our feet (and not offshore or in foreign lands filled with people happy to take our money but who also hate us and who can who can turn the spigot off at will).
All good reasons in Majority Leader Harry Reid's mind to sabotage our tapping of this vast reserve of energy:
The fight over the Senate offshore drilling "spill bill" shifted Wednesday from the Gulf of Mexico to the mountains of western Pennsylvania, as Republicans slammed the last-minute inclusion of language to regulate a controversial technique to extract onshore natural gas.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) added the language last night requiring natural gas drillers to disclose the chemicals they pump into the ground as part of the hydraulic fracturing, or hydro-fracking, process.
Republicans are wary of the addition, which comes on page 404 of the 409-page spill response bill Reid wants the Senate to take up before the recess. GOP objections to any portion of the larger bill could stall its progress, since it appears likely that Reid will not allow any amendments to be offered.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said the new requirements could effectively end onshore natural gas production. He noted that some states already have hydro-fracking safety and disclosure regulations, but that taking the requirements national would freeze the industry.
Why does Reid have to pull these un-democratic stunts? Because he can? Because powerful Democratic donors (including the Democratic party Sugar Daddy George Soros) wants to kill off carbon and spend tens of billions of dollars on green schemes that reward their "clean" energy ventures . These ventures only "work" (i.e., become profitable for their investors) when carbon energy becomes very expensive (hence cap and tax); or when billions in taxpayer dollar subsidies are funneled to them; or when government-ordered mandates require utilities, companies and consumers to buy "renewable" energy. And when powerful Democrats pull fast ones behind closed doors to sabotage the tapping of a treasure our nation has been blessed to have in abundance.
A primer on the benefits of shale gas appeared in the Washington Post ("Shale Gas: Hope for our energy future").
A quote from the column:
Until recently, scarce U.S. natural gas reserves suggested increasing dependence on expensive foreign supplies of liquefied natural gas. No more. Also, natural gas emits about 50 percent less carbon dioxide -- the major greenhouse gas -- than coal. Substituting gas for coal in electricity plants could temper emissions. Finally, shale gas in Europe and Asia has huge geopolitical implications. It could reduce dependence on Russian natural gas and frustrate any gas cartel mimicking OPEC.
How much shale gas exists is unknown, but estimates are huge. The Potential Gas Committee is a group of geologists who regularly estimate future U.S. gas supplies. In 2000, the group's estimate equaled about 54 years of present annual consumption; by 2008, it was almost 90 years. "This isn't the end," says Colorado School of Mines geologist John Curtis. Globally, one study estimated the recoverable supply at 16,200 trillion cubic feet, more than 150 times today's annual world gas use).
I have written about the Democratic blueprint to derail the tapping of these reserves and here .