Sunday, November 1, 2009

Could shale change the fate of our energy supply

Summary: Inside shale formations thousands of feet underground in Louisiana is what many people believe to be huge amounts of natural gas. Many people see natural gas as a way for America to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and also natural gas has the least environmental impacts out of available fossil fuels. There is a huge surge in this area of Louisiana with people buying large amounts of land and tons of money being spent in hope of developing this area to supply large amounts of natural gas to the rest of the country. Other people are still skeptical however of this and aren't really sure if it will deliver fuel that was promised.

Natural gas is a really great alternative to some of the other available fossil fuels that we have out there. The fact that it's so much more clean than even coal helps the company that are producing it promote it and the development in other places. This might even lead us to use electricity in other places besides a power plant which is a main use of it today. If natural gas becomes as abundant as other fossil fuels such as oil, we all might eventually see natural gas cars on the road. This is also important because it serves as a less traumatic way of making the switch from the dirtiest fossil fuels strait to all clean energy. If we had an energy system that was more natural gas/ wind/ solar energy, we would be so much better off. We don't have to solve every problem with pure clean energy.


Shikhar.Singh said...

while that i agree that natural gas can be a good alternative fuel for the short term, I feel that in the long term it fails to solve a lot of problems and thus, cannot be the "magic replacement" we want it to be for our addiction to fossil fuels. Natural gas contributes a lot less emissions to the environment, but it is certainly much more than other forms of alternative fuel sorces such as solar and wind. Additionally natural gas doesn't solve our addiction to foreign fuel, many of the biggest natural gas producers are countries like russia who could hike up prices in a world where demand for russian gas increased... also i'm almost certain it is a capped resource, meaning that instead of worrying about peak oil someday we might have to worry about peak gas!

WattsUp03 said...

The idea that natural gas from shale will be the fate our energy needs will have to come from what regulations and changes in oil demand we see in the near future. The fact that natural gas is less harmful for the environment and relatively cheap to use as a fuel and emits only half of the CO2 emissions also makes it more appealing to use than coal. The increase in shale production will cause some very heated controversy over the land use and lawsuits over the land sales. The increase in natural gas will also be interesting because it can be produced in landfills, which almost makes it renewable resource and could possible one day be use in cars.