It’s a Gas

The current issue of the Weekly Standard is their regular springtime energy policy issue. In last year’s energy cover story I surveyed the whole energy policy waterfront, which remains dysfunctional for the simple reason that our political class can’t decide what energy policy should do, while the market for energy plugs along reasonably well given the extensive constrictions it has to operate beneath.
In this week’s issue I take a close look at “The Gas Revolution,” which is remarkable in part for not having been the result of an energy policy edict from Washington, or even a bruising political battle to open up new lands and offshore areas to exploration and production. It is a pure triumph of entrepreneurs and technological innovation. If Washington had seen it coming, no doubt they’d have tried to stop it, and my article warns against political meddling in this otherwise very good news story.
I noted back in February over on NRO’s Corner that environmentalists, who have hitherto supported natural gas as a means of killing coal, were destined to turn against it now that it appears to be more abundant and cheap. The next shoe is dropping right now. The Hill newspaper notes a forthcoming study from two Cornell University professors arguing that natural gas produced through “fracking” is higher in total greenhouse gas emissions than coal.
You can count on this study becoming a green talking point that we need to regulate (meaning “kill”) shale gas production.