Fault Lines: Fracking in America

With the US looking to ease its reliance on foreign oil, Fault Lines investigates the impact of natural gas extraction.

Al-Jazeera, November 21, 2012

For years now, the United States has tried to lower its dependence on foreign oil for its energy needs. With stability in the Middle East in question, drilling at home has never been more attractive. But it often comes at a cost. Natural gas extraction – fracking – is being touted as the answer. But questions are being asked about the process and its implications.

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Extreme Energy Means an Extreme Planet

The new “Golden Age of Oil” that wasn’t as forecasts of abundance collide with planetary realities

Michael T. Klare, Tom Dispatch.org, October 4, 2012

Last winter, fossil-fuel enthusiasts began trumpeting the dawn of a new “golden age of oil” that would kick-start the American economy, generate millions of new jobs, and free this country from its dependence on imported petroleum.  Ed Morse, head commodities analyst at Citibank, was typical.  In the Wall Street Journal he crowed, “The United States has become the fastest-growing oil and gas producer in the world, and is likely to remain so for the rest of this decade and into the 2020s.” Continue lendo

Natural Gas and Its Role

The boom in natural gas production has undeniable benefits for the United States. But two policy analysts argue that embracing a monolithic energy future dominated by gas will mean the loss of a golden opportunity: Leveraging cheap, abundant gas to create a sustainable future based on renewable power.

Kevin Doran and Adam Reed, Yale Environment 360, August 13, 2012

The United States has won the lottery on natural gas. According to the most recent estimates by the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. has some 2,214 trillion cubic feet cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas — enough to satisfy all of our natural gas demands for the next century at current consumption levels. The extraction of shale gas, enabled by technological advances such as hydrofracturing and horizontal drilling, has led the way in creating this largely unforeseen cornucopia. Domestic natural gas is now a cheaper fuel for electricity generation than coal — long our go-to fuel for power around the clock — and emits roughly half the greenhouse gas emissions.

It appears that our energy problems are over — or are they? Continue lendo

Será América Latina el nuevo Medio Oriente?

Raúl Zibechi, La Jornada, 4 de mayo de 2012

Todos los años la región latinoamericana escala posiciones en el ranking geopolítico mundial por el constante incremento de sus reservas de recursos estratégicos. Cuando Petrobras difundió en 2006 el descubrimiento de la capa pre-sal de petróleo, que puede albergar hasta 100 mil millones de barriles de crudo, el peso de Brasil en el mundo creció notablemente, ya que en 2020 será el cuarto productor mundial de crudo. Continue lendo

Los grandes riesgos en los gasoductos árabes

Pepe Escobar, Asia Times Online, 30 de abril de 2011. Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens

De nuevo esta semana hubo que cerrar el Gasoducto Árabe –lo que detuvo el flujo de gas a Israel y Jordania-. Una “banda armada desconocida” atacó con bombas el terminal de gas al-Sabil cerca de la ciudad costera de el-Arish, a menos de 350 kilómetros al noreste de El Cairo en la península Sinaí.
La península Sinaí es una zona roja de facto. Dominan los beduinos locales. La seguridad es irregular. Armas contrabandeadas a Gaza y otras partes de Medio Oriente pasan por Sinaí, es decir, dentro de una distancia alcanzable del Gasoducto Árabe. Continue lendo