EPA seeks to stifle shale gas industry
I have written a few columns regarding the manifold benefits that tapping our nation's rich, onshore, and clean-burning reserves of shale gas can bring us. Nations such as Iran and Russia will feel the heat as natural gas flows from our own wells and the stranglehold those nations and other adversaries have over the world's natural gas supplies are loosened.
Billions sent overseas will end; our balance of payments will improve; our dollar will strengthen; regions where these reservoirs exist will be revitalized; Americans will benefit as energy across the board becomes cheaper. Yet, liberals in Congress and Obama's EPA are undertaking steps to stop this revolution in its steps by conjuring up absurd and overstated concerns regarding the environmental risks of fracking: the technique pioneered and developed in America to liberate this gas from our shale.
This Wall Street Journal article touches upon one of the reasons why: the clean energy cronies of the Democratic Party don't like the competition. With the advent of the Democratic majority in Congress and Obama in the White House pals of theirs in the green energy industry have been the beneficiaries of billions in taxpayer money. George Soros - the sugar daddy of the Democrats - has announced plans to put up to a billion dollars in "renewable" fuels. Al Gore is in line to become the world's first carbon billionaire. The list goes on. Yet shale gas can put an end to their party. Amy Myers Jaffe, an energy expert , writes:
I have been studying the energy markets for 30 years, and I am convinced that shale gas will revolutionize the industry-and change the world-in the coming decades. It will prevent the rise of any new cartels. It will alter geopolitics. And it will slow the transition to renewable energy.
The shale boom also is likely to upend the economics of renewable energy. It may be a lot harder to persuade people to adopt green power that needs heavy subsidies when there's a cheap, plentiful fuel out there that's a lot cleaner than coal, even if gas isn't as politically popular as wind or solar.
One of the biggest effects of the shale boom will be to give Western and Chinese consumers fuel supplies close to home-thus scuttling a potential natural-gas cartel. Remember: Prior to the discovery of shale gas, huge declines were expected in domestic production in U.S., Canada and the North Sea. That meant an increasing reliance on foreign supplies-at a time when natural gas was becoming more important as a source of energy.
Even more troubling, most of those gas supplies were located in unstable regions. Two countries in particular had a stranglehold over supply: Russia and Iran. Before the shale discoveries, these nations were expected to account for more than half the world's known gas resources.
Russia made no secret about its desire to leverage its position and create a cartel of gas producers-a kind of latter-day OPEC. That seemed to set the stage for a repeat of the oil issues that have worried the world over the past 40 years.
But the political fallout from shale gas will do a lot more than stifle natural-gas cartels. It will throw world politics for a loop-putting some longtime troublemakers in their place and possibly bringing some rivals into the Western fold.
Now we know why this administration is hell bent on stopping at least one revolution: the shale gas one. The unleashing of these vast supplies would imperil the pie in the sky ventures that have been soaking up taxpayer money to enrich allies of the Democrats. After all, we should know by now, that the team in power could care less about taxpayers.