Shale Gas – Ecologically and Economically Unsustainable

Shale gas is booming in the US  and Canada and according to some sources is bound to become to most important source of primary energy in the region. However behind the suspiciously optimistic assumptions, some insiders reveal worrying figures seriously questioning both its ecological and economical viability. Rapidly falling production in many wells points to increasingly inefficient investment decisions in what is essentially another high-risk bubble for investors. And the most serious problems could still emerge. Contrary to claims by the industry, there is at least one proven case where water sources have been severely tainted. Many other cases cannot be studied by independent researchers because the industry has sealed all details from the public when it bought off landowner in the settlement of lawsuits.

ON-green-policy!  As long as the industry hides details about chemical used as well as of the issues in numerous lawsuits, one can just speculate about the reasons for this strategy. I think it is perfectly rational to assume that if there were no environmental concerns to be hidden, the industry could easily be transparent about all this and instantly stop criticism. Given the environmental record of the industry, there is definitely a huge public interest in transparency and tight control of the oil and gas industry – the free market with all its allure just does not cut it in this regard. The question is just for what interests do our politicians stand for: for the oil industry or for the people and their country? Now, politicians are usually a quiet calculating lot and their answer to that question can thus be influenced by voters. Guess what abstaining or not caring about a candidate’s environmental stance does do that calculation.

Sources: EconomistCourrier International

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