A propos this. A few thoughts.
- I think shale is pretty safe geologically speaking. North Dakota’s not collapsed into a caldera and they do some pretty cowboy stuff out there.
- I wouldn’t want it in my village because it’s ugly.
- I would like cheaper stuff. It’s another word for everyone getting richer.
- I would like to avoid climate change and because we’re not reducing demand enough, reducing supply is the only option left.
So you think the choice would be easy, but I’m in a quandary.
- Local ugliness is basically irrelevant relative to climate change. The main issue is whether shale is a complement or competitor to other fossil fuels.
- If shale gas squeezes out coal, it helps save the planet.
- If shale gas squeezes out renewables or nuclear energy, it helps doom the planet.
- Burning gas is more similar to burning coal (easy to turn on and off, variable output) than renewables (on when it fancies it and variable) or nuclear (on or off baseload generation)
A priori I’d think it should squeeze out coal, but my priors aren’t shifted enough to come off the fence.