An observation worth noting … and pondering, from J. David Hughes:
[T]he shale gas industry was motivated to hype production prospects in order to attract large amounts of needed investment capital; it did this by drilling the best sites first and extrapolating initial robust results to apply to more problematic prospective regions….
The biggest losers in this misguided rush to anoint shale gas as America’s energy savior are members of the public, who need sound energy policy based on realistic expectations for future supply, as well as sound assessments of economic and environmental costs.
Earlier this month, I offered comments [here and here] on Deborah Rogers’ excellent report: Shale and Wall Street: Was The Decline In Natural Gas Prices Orchestrated? which offered a look into some of the investment practices and decisions of (primarily) gas and oil production companies, and how they were spun out to the consuming and investing public.
David Hughes has performed some of the most important analyses undertaken to provide the full range of information about the realities of hydraulic fracturing [fracking] and the genuine [but temporary] impact it’s had on oil production totals in recent years. [See this.]
As he emphasizes in his assessment quoted above, a nice story of abundance and no-worries-here was spun out into the public by the fossil fuel industry and its media arms to provide cover for the less-pleasant realities about current and future production considerations. That much of it was self-serving and of no long-term benefit to the public should not come as a surprise.
But he does point out a problem I and others have likewise repeated: the incomplete if not misleading information doled out to an unsuspecting public carries both immediate and long-range consequences. An uninformed public cannot be expected to voice their concerns or demands if they don’t have the information they need to be properly informed about matters which will most definitely affect them and their children. That’s not unintentional, and that too is a problem.
Those who know but prefer staying silent or massaging the message so it conveys a story altogether different will do nothing but make much more difficult all attempts at problem-solving, planning, preparing, and adapting to a future with a very different energy supply at the ready. Have those leading voices considered what kind of backlash awaits them?
And as for the rest of us, what chances will we have to effectively transition to that future if too much information has been withheld along the way? What happens then?
~ My Photo: Newport Beach Dunes Marina Resort – 02.14.14
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