Wednesday, December 5, 2012

#339 / Shale Revolution
The Wall Street Journal seemed pleased to report, on Monday, December 3rd, that "exporting the U.S. shale energy revolution overseas turns out to be far tougher than anyone expected." WSJ does root for the "home team," and that means that their news article on this topic has a kind of smug tone, concluding as it does that this will give the United States a "significant competitive advantage."

Not everyone cheers at the "fracking" revolution now in full swing in the United States. The more hydrocarbons we find and develop, the more we can burn, and the more we burn hydrocarbons, the more we advance the planetary impacts of global warming. Save your cheers for something that is actually good for us, not destructive.

I read the article to which I am referring because I wondered "why" it is proving so difficult to do fracking in other countries. Do we have some sort of special geology, here in North America? Nope, that is not it. 

Among the reasons for the glacial pace abroad are government ownership of mineral rights [and] environmental concerns...

In other words, other countries require that the economic benefits of fracking accrue to the public, not to  the giant oil companies, and they are concerned about environmental impacts that are being ignored in the United States, and specifically in California, where Governor Jerry Brown is working to accelerate the production of hydrocarbons by eliminating regulatory requirements.  Click the link for that story!

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