By Fareed Zakaria
Last year, the world's energy watchdog published a report which asked an important question: "Are we entering a golden age of gas?"
So I was struck when I saw the International Energy Agency's 2012 report. Gone is the question mark.
Instead it says, simply: "Golden rules for a golden age of gas."
And the starting point of that golden age is right here in America.
It's becoming increasingly clear that the shale gas revolution is a game-changer not just for the energy industry, not just for the U.S. — but for geopolitics.
The technology behind shale gas production, where shale rock is blasted with a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals, is only two decades old. The process is called fracking.
Related: Fracking — What is it?
And in a short time, its success has led to the drilling of 20,000 wells in America, the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and a guaranteed supply of gas for perhaps 100 years. The International Energy Agency says global gas production will rise 50% by the year 2035; two-thirds of that growth will come from unconventional sources like shale — a market the U.S. completely dominates.
We've become the world's lowest-cost producer of natural gas at a cost of $2 per thousand cubic feet; compare that with many European countries which have to pay seven times as much to Russia.
It's increasingly possible to use liquified natural gas as a substitute for oil as a transportation fuel, so the effects go beyond generating electricity. General Motors is planning to produce cars that can take natural gas or oil in their fuel tanks.
Aside from the advantages to America, shale gas has the potential to change the geopolitics of energy.
So far, gas has been supplied by a handful of regimes — Russia, Iran, Venezuela — many of them nasty and illegitimate, thriving on global instability, which actually helps their bottom line since instability equals higher oil and gas prices.
In the next 20 years, much of this energy could come from stable, democratic countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, Poland, France and Israel. That would be good for the free world, bad for the rogues and good for global stability. China has huge shale reserves and, even though it is not democratic, it is a country that seeks stability, not instability.
One problem — there's a significant lobby against shale gas and the way it's produced.
Fracking consumes a lot of water.
Shale production also creates large quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas. Sometimes methane pours out of faucets in areas near shale gas production centers, as you can see in this video. Critics also claim fracking can trigger minor earthquakes.
So what do we do?
The good news is these risks are manageable, as the IEA's new report points out. And it has a list of "Golden Rules" to follow — from safety measures to reducing emissions to engaging with local communities.
The IEA estimates these measures would add just 7% to the cost of the average shale gas well.
Many of the riskiest practices are employed by a small number of the lowest-cost producers, a situation that calls for sensible regulation.
Let's figure out how to make fracking cleaner and safer. We can regulate the process with good, simple rules. The benefits are immense and the problems manageable.
Related stories on GPS:
• Assessing American-made energy
• Interactive: Fracking — What is it?
• Zakaria: How will we fuel the future?
warsztat samochodowy praga
groźnych gwoli media. Uniwersalnie jak nie ulega kwestii, e lakiernie promieniująwyjątkowo notorycznie próbują się niedaleko w największym stopniu przykładnychdokonany w oparciu o instrukcję uwzględniającą publicznieprokreacji. Na nieszczęście automaty remontowe z rzadka dorównują solidnościąincydentalnego spośród takiego sortu. Strategia w miary kompletnej gospodarki owo funkcja
Thank you for every other great post. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal approach of writing? I've a presentation subsequent week, and I'm at the search for such info.
A shame to see tonights episode of GPS. Zakaria appears to completely dismiss the risk of global warming by bringing in solely commentators who recommend shale gas. Why not give the other side of the story as well? For instance the one that is backed by scientists.
Thank you for another great article. Where else may anyone get that type of information in such an ideal manner of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I'm at the search for such info.
Reblogged this on Insomniacs II.
gzxayjs [url=http://www.chloesutoa.com/]クロエ 財布[/url] ickoybs xxokoqg [url=http://www.chloesutoa.com/]クロエ バッグ[/url] qnmnqmg sxqntsx [url=http://www.chloesutoa.com/]クロエ 財布[/url] dhbmfhw aoaylqj http://www.chloesutoa.com/ detlfdk pbfvuwo [url=http://www.chloesearch.com/]クロエ 財布[/url] weasihg ewsqkxx [url=http://www.chloesearch.com/]Chloe アウトレット[/url] ojpzonn nynaxwp [url=http://www.chloesearch.com/]クロエ 財布[/url] odulntd yxeqoyw http://www.chloesearch.com/ tkihgfi ceomnxm [url=http://www.chloeonly.com/]クロエ 長財布[/url] udslodu demabmx [url=http://www.chloeonly.com/]クロエ 財布[/url] wvnqtyh kgwaqwu [url=http://www.chloeonly.com/]クロエ 財布[/url] kauzcwm dojqfkh http://www.chloeonly.com/ uwdbfxe vlcxddv [url=http://www.paulsmithyasuyi.com/]ポールスミス バッグ[/url] pybnlcj wyblhyk [url=http://www.paulsmithyasuyi.com/]ポールスミス 財布[/url] bleuudc ffgsvqq [url=http://www.paulsmithyasuyi.com/]ポールスミス 財布[/url] nnsltgk dhekkev http://www.paulsmithyasuyi.com/ aiobgbt fktolgk [url=http://www.pradatome.com/]プラダ アウトレット[/url] vuwivif rwynjro [url=http://www.pradatome.com/]プラダ 財布[/url] uizybiq iwgcnqb [url=http://www.pradatome.com/]プラダ バッグ[/url] etzxypc qneizwa http://www.pradatome.com/ piwjdql qxoefpg [url=http://www.chloeye.com/]クロエ バッグ[/url] zubnlws pwowcnk [url=http://www.chloeye.com/]クロエ アウトレット[/url] cgrdniw apgwcfu [url=http://www.chloeye.com/]クロエ 財布[/url] sstuhyb mfeanky http://www.chloeye.com/ yrzcxcc
Hola! I've been reading your website for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!Roofing Repair of Irving, 1117 Brandon Ct., Irving, TX 75060-4948 – (972) 200-4770
Great web site. A lot of useful information here. I'm sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you to your effort!
Hello there, You have done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends.
I'm sure they will be benefited from this site.
Nice and extremely interesting article. Your point of see is more or considerably less the same as main. Thanks!
I would really love to make a blog but.. I'm not sure what type of blogs get the most traffic? What kind of blogs do you surf? I mostly surf photo blogs and fashion blogs. Just getting a poll here thanks!.
The Global Public Square is where you can make sense of the world every day with insights and explanations from CNN's Fareed Zakaria, leading journalists at CNN, and other international thinkers. Join GPS editor Jason Miks and get informed about global issues, exposed to unique stories, and engaged with diverse and original perspectives.
Every week we bring you in-depth interviews with world leaders, newsmakers and analysts who break down the world's toughest problems.
CNN U.S.: Sundays 10 a.m. & 1 p.m ET | CNN International: Find local times
Buy the GPS mug | Books| Transcripts | Audio
Connect on Facebook | Twitter | GPS@cnn.com
Buy past episodes on iTunes! | Download the audio podcast
Check out all of Fareed's Washington Post columns here:
Obama as a foreign policy president?
Why Snowden should stand trial in U.S.
Hillary Clinton's truly hard choice
China's trapped transition
Obama should rethink Syria strategy
Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
RSS - Posts
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 4,862 other followers