Hot on the heels of recent MIT survey showing that natural gas use in the US is set to double in the coming decades, an important counterpoint over at Yale e360 highlights some of the problems that transition will bring.
At the center of it are the environmental consequences of Fracking (that’s hydraulic fracturing) and the same issue which dogs oil, the difference between easily accessible reserves and those which may, someday, somehow, and at great cost be recovered.
That last part first: Author Daniel Botkin, professor emeritus of UC Santa Barbara, points out that the USGS lists natural gas with four categories of reserves. 1% are ‘readily available with current technologies’, 5% are ‘technically recoverable’, 6% are ‘marginal targets for accelerated technology’, and the remaining 84% are ‘unknown but probable’. Shale gas is in that last category.