Asking the Right Questions About the Future of Shale Gas
37 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2016 Last revised: 13 Dec 2016
Date Written: January 21, 2016
This Article argues that the questions that have guided U.S. energy policy for decades — about how to assure cheap, plentiful, and secure energy with basic environmental and public health protection — are no longer the only relevant questions, and uses shale gas to make that point. Shale gas development is justified on the basis that it contributes to some reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, that it produces needed energy, and that it has economic, social, and security benefits. This Article explains that policy makers and others need to ask instead 1) whether the use of shale gas is consistent with the scale and pace of required greenhouse gas emissions, 2) how much energy we need, and 3) how the benefits of shale gas compare with the costs and benefits of alternatives, especially energy efficiency and conservation.
Keywords: sustainable, sustainability, sustainable development, shale, shale gas, climate change, Paris Agreement, hydrofracturing, greenhouse gas emissions
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K32, Q00, Q01, Q10, Q2, Q3, Q4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation