Twitter Q&A Roundup: Exploring the Local Impacts of Shale Gas Development

On April 10, RFF hosted a seminar on the benefits and costs of shale gas development as experienced by local communities, titled “Exploring the Local Impacts of Shale Gas Development.” As moderator of that event, I’ll attempt to tackle some of the questions posed by our Twitter audience during the event that we were unable […]

Identifying “Known Unknowns” in the Natural Gas Revolution

Last week, my colleagues and I released a new RFF report, The Natural Gas Revolution: Critical Questions for a Sustainable Energy Future. At one point, I began referring to this document as the “Known Unknowns” report, in reference to a widely quoted Donald Rumsfeld speech. As the former secretary of defense noted, there are certain […]

McKibben, Liquid Natural Gas, and the Economy

Bill McKibben makes an impassioned argument in Politico about the dangers to the economy and the environment of building a facility for liquid natural gas (LNG) exports at Cove Point, MD. His case, however, rests heavily on the inaccurate assumption that the benefits of the exports will be limited only to the natural gas industry […]

Unconventional Fuel Production and Water Resources

Crude oil and natural gas production from unconventional reservoirs is experiencing accelerated growth in North America, much of which is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. This shift in the energy industry has been accompanied by rising concerns over its potential impact on water resources. Developing these fuels is thought to require more water […]

Shale Gas Development Linked to Traffic Accidents in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has seen the development of more than 5,000 7,000 hydraulically fracked shale gas wells since 2004. The fracking process itself requires water and other liquids to work, not to mention rigs, other equipment, and labor, to fully develop the well. The water used in hydraulic fracturing is primarily brought to and from a well via […]

Good News for Gas from New Fugitive Methane Numbers

Is the shale gas boom good or bad for climate? It largely depends on methane. Methane, the primary constituent of natural gas, is a double-edged sword in climate terms. It burns much cleaner than coal—about half of the CO2 emissions and far less of most other pollutants for the same energy output. But released directly […]

The State of State Shale Gas Regulation

For the last year or so, we’ve been cataloging and analyzing state-level shale gas regulations, as part of our larger project on managing the risks of shale gas development. Regular readers may remember the previews of that research posted here and on the RFF website, featuring maps of regulatory variation. I’m happy to announce that […]

Fracking on Federal Lands: Stewards, not Regulators

Last week, the Bureau of Land Management proposed new rules for oil and gas fracking on federal lands. Some industry critics immediately attacked the proposal, arguing not that it was too strict, but that it shouldn’t exist at all. These arguments miss the mark. (Side note: We have not yet digested the package of rules, so […]

US Shale Gas Development in Review

The United States has seen rapid recent development of shale gas. What are the factors behind the notable growth in the past decade? And what does it mean for shale gas development elsewhere in the world? Alan Krupnick and I examine the history of the US shale gas boom in a new RFF discussion paper. […]

Polar Interpretations of a Study of Shale Gas Development and Surface Water

On Monday, my colleagues, Sheila Olmstead, Jhih-Shyang Shih, Ziyan Chu, Alan Krupnick and I published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences testing for evidence of impacts to surface water quality from shale gas development across four different pathways.  We used more than a decade of data from over 20,000 surface […]