Will Obama let shale gas production continue?
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Winningreen Issue Alert
U.S. currently leads world in shale gas production---will Obama let this continue?
By Gretchen Randall
Date: December 11, 2012
Issue: According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. continues to lead the world in shale gas production though China has the largest amount of world shale reserves. (U.S. is second.) One of the reasons that America leads in production of this valuable source of natural gas is that the land under which the shale is located is primarily privately owned. In addition, the exploration began with small oil and gas companies taking the risks, using new technology and having access to specific geologic data.
Other countries such as Poland, China and Argentina have vast quantities of shale oil and gas but are hindered either by high taxes, government nationalization of industry, location near a metropolitan area or fears over allowing hydraulic fracturing.
In spite of — or maybe, because of the success in shale production, the Obama administration is now considering listing the “lesser prairie chicken” as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. While the comment period is just beginning, it is easy to see the destruction such a listing would have on oil and gas production in many states including the Permian Basin of Texas. This area alone currently produces more than a million barrels of oil a day but much of this could be curtailed by the bird’s listing.
More perilous is that environmental groups use the money they get from government grants to file lawsuits to force some of these listings. According the Wall St. Journal, the Wild Earth Guardians received over $680,000 in U.S. Fish and Wildlife (FWS) grants (paid by taxpayers) from 2007-2011. At the same time, this group sued 76 times over alleged environmental violations to get FWS to comply with actions the group wants taken, such as listing animals as a threatened or endangered.
Comment: Government grants to outside environmental groups should be one of the first “cuts” Congress makes as it ponders harmless cuts to make to government spending.
Comment: Of course, the 800-pound environmental gorilla is about to enter the fracking battle as well. Obama’s EPA is set to issue new rules on shale fracking. Want to bet they will try to shut down the industry?
Background and links: Read “Playing Chicken in Oil-Patch Politics” at : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323901604578157163958369742.html?KEYWORDS=endangered+species+may+harm+energy
Information on U.S. shale gas resources at: http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2012/12/06/u-s-leads-world-in-natural-gas-production-from-hydraulic-fracturing/ Read our other articles on shale gas and fracking at: http://www.winningreen.com/site/epage/41161_621.htm
Contact: Gretchen Randall
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