George P. Mitchell: Founder of Shale Gas — here’s how he and his team did it

The memorial services this week near Houston honoring the generosity and success of energy innovator, real estate visionary and philanthropist George P. Mitchell are inspiring accolades for his role in tapping the huge potential of natural gas from shale rock formations deep underground. He passed away July 26 at the age of 94. Mitchell — […]

Updated draft rules for hydraulic fracturing deserve the chance to work

Complaints by both sides over the Obama administration’s newly updated draft rules regulating the hydraulic fracturing of shale natural gas and oil on public and Indian lands signals the Interior Department has found enough common ground to raise the bar — albeit slightly — on drilling operations. Because the updated draft rules would only apply […]

Center for Sustainable Shale Development – peeling back the packaging

Since its launch about one month ago (see The Energy Fix, March 22), the Center for Sustainable Shale Development has been met with accolades from entities such as The Washington Post to harsh rebukes by the likes of the Sierra Club. It’s not surprising that these and other parties differ on the Center’s potential for […]

Collaboration on Illinois legislation could achieve standards for regulating hydraulic fracturing

Illinois is on track to go where no push for hydraulic fracturing has gone before in the U.S.: a consensus on how to regulate the controversial practice of injecting chemicals and large amounts of water deep underground to flush out large quantities of natural gas and crude oil. As states such as New York and […]

Spinning “Promised Land” to move the ‘needle’ for — or against — fracking

One thing Matt Damon and colleagues are accomplishing with the new movie “Promised Land” about hydraulic fracturing is to increase the public’s understanding — even if just a little bit — of the controversial drilling technique which flushes natural gas to the surface from shale rock formations deep underground. But that’s about it. Advocates of […]

With Obama’s win, cleaner energy has another chance, but these questions loom

Just because President Obama won four more years, doesn’t mean the next four will be any easier. Sure, it’s now his legacy he is beginning to focus on. But there are tall hurdles even the election results will do to change. Renewable energy developers and suppliers have a few rays of sunshine and a more […]

New sensible efforts are raising the bar for safer, more transparent hydraulic fracturing

The ‘voices’ in the moderate center that have been drowned out in the increasingly inflammatory debate over the hydraulic fracturing of shale natural gas are getting a growing cadre of credible allies. And with them may come a sensible way to prudently capitalize on the enormous deposits of shale gas throughout parts of the U.S. […]

Shale gas helping reduce carbon & overall emissions – but by how much?

The results are adding up. It’s hard to ignore how the surging deployment of natural gas for industrial uses and power generation is reducing the growth in U.S. carbon and other harmful emissions and possibly lowering overall emissions. Two recent studies draw from different data sets so one should be careful not to jump to […]

Risks loom from closure of 25 gigawatts of U.S. coal power plants by 2015 = 8% of capacity

Is there enough natural gas that is findable and deliverable to plug most of the gap created by the projected closure of 25.5 gigawatts (GW) of U.S. generating capacity from coal between now and year-end 2015? That is an increasingly urgent question facing U.S. utilities, power marketers and regulators. The risks of brownouts and perhaps […]

Shale gas ‘golden rules’ from the IEA – will enough of the industry engage? And how?

Lest there be any doubt, the call for understandable rules, regulations and disclosure requirements for the hydraulic fracturing of unconventional natural gas (aka fracking) from shale deposits deep underground is gaining steam not just in the U.S. but throughout much of the industrialized world. Now comes the International Energy Agency with its “Golden Rules for […]