The Economist

The promised gas revolution can do the environment more good than harm
The Economist

America’s shale-gas industry has drilled 20,000 wells, created hundreds of thousands of jobs, directly and indirectly, and provided lots of cheap gas. This is a huge advantage to American industry and a relief to those who fret about American energy security. At current production rates, America has over a century’s supply of gas, half of it stored in shale and other “unconventional” formations.

But the risks from shale gas can be managed. Properly concreted well-shafts do not leak; regurgitants can be collected and made safe and preventing gas venting and flaring would limit methane emissions to acceptable levels.

For as well as posing environmental risks, a gas boom would bring an important environmental benefit. Burning gas emits half as much carbon dioxide as coal; so where gas substitutes for coal, emissions will fall. America’s emissions have fallen by 450m tonnes in the past five years, more than any other country’s. Ironically, given its far greater effort to tackle climate change, the European Union has seen its emissions rise, partly because of an increase in coal-fired power generation in response to Europe’s high gas price.

La seule et unique révolution dont le Québec a besoin c’est celle du gaz de schiste !