from Energy, Security, and Climate and Energy Security and Climate Change Program

Heading Off A Shale Gas Clash

April 12, 2011

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Fossil Fuels

I’m planning to write about Robert Howarth’s latest shale gas study (summary: gas is worse than coal), which was reported in the New York Times this morning, but I’ve been tied up at the annual meeting for Princeton’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative, where I’ve been learning all sorts of fascinating stuff in fields ranging from chemical engineering to economic modeling to ocean dynamics. For now, all I’ll say is that while the study raises some important questions that ought not be ducked, the actual data in it strikes me as very flimsy.

In the meantime, here’s my own piece on shale gas in today’s Houston Chronicle. I write about the industry-green clash, and urge responsible industry to preempt a public backlash by embracing prudent regulation. I’ll be interested to see what response the piece gets: I made a point of publishing it in the oil and gas capital of the United States so that the message would go to the folks who need to hear it.

In fact, I’ll be heading to Houston tomorrow evening. On Friday, I’ll be speaking up at Harvard as part of a great public conference. Readers in the area are invited to attend (free advance registration required).