Shale gas is no panacea but, with the right policies to protect communities where gas is produced and to harness the fuel as part of a broader climate strategy, it can play a critical role in confronting global warming, argues Michael A. Levi in a Democracy article.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to find they have more in common than ever as they meet this week, starting today in Shanghai for a Sino-Russian summit and later in St. Petersburg for an economic forum.
Though calls are mounting for the United States to help free Europe from Russian influence by exporting shale gas, Michael Levi writes the most useful thing that Europe could import is not American gas itself but the open economic model that has enabled the U.S. natural gas industry to thrive.
"By next year, Texas will be spewing four million barrels, which will put it ahead of old oil powers such as the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Iran. If it were a nation, Texas would already be the ninth biggest oil producer in the world."
Stephen P.A. Brown and Mine Yücel examine how changes in U.S. oil and natural gas production may affect individual state economies, showing that some of the states providing new energy resources are becoming less economically diversified and more economically vulnerable to energy price declines.
Asked by Larry Davenport, from Virginia Beach, Virginia
Israel has discovered substantial natural gas deposits off its shores in the last four years. While these gas finds are not significant in terms of global gas supply (they constitute less than two percent of the world's proven gas reserves), they do appear large enough not only to meet Israel's needs, but to enable Israel to export significant quantities.
In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, Michael A. Levi discusses the geopolitical consequences of a Department of Energy decision on liquid natural gas exports; the geopolitical consequences of exports themselves; and steps that the United States could take domestically to increase support for liquid natural gas exports.
Michael A. Levi says natural gas is a good and inexpensive alternative to coal and oil, but it's still a fossil fuel. Keeping in mind that gas is far from a permanent climate solution, delegates meeting in Doha for the UN climate change negotiations "should strengthen their efforts, individually and collectively, to promote innovation and development of cost-effective zero-carbon energy options."
Michael A. Levi argues that the likely benefits of allowing U.S. natural gas exports outweigh the costs of explicitly constraining them, provided that appropriate environmental protections are in place.
Meghan O'Sullivan says that discoveries of large, underwater gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean could bring economic and political benefits as well as regional clout to Israel at a time when Israel's regional standing is more uncertain than it has been for decades.
Interest in natural gas is growing for political, environmental, and economic reasons. But the industry faces challenges to adding pipelines, increasing international LNG trade, and exploiting newly found shale gas reserves.
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