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Ohio Utica Shale

U.S. shale boom will be bridge to cleaner fuels, Browner says

By Bob Downing Published: November 22, 2013

From Bloomberg News on Wednesday:

By Mario Parker


A shale boom in the U.S. that’s led to lower natural gas prices and higher energy efficiency will act as a bridge to cleaner burning fuels, Carol Browner, a former Environmental Protection Agency head, said today.

“Right now there are a lot of reasons” to favor using natural gas, said Browner, a senior counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group, a Washington-based global strategy organization. She spoke at “The Year Ahead: 2014,” a two-day conference sponsored by Bloomberg LP in Chicago.



The U.S. is forecast to pump 70.29 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas this year, up from the 2012 record of 69.18 billion as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked shale deposits that previously were uneconomical to produce, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the U.S. Energy Department.

Natural gas for December delivery rose 3.3 percent today to $3.674 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That’s down from a record $15.78 in 2005. Gas accounted for 30 percent of electricity generation last year, up from 19 percent in 2005, EIA data show.

Browner said the U.S. shouldn’t settle on the fuel as a staple for energy production because it can have adverse effects on the climate. She was President Barack Obama’s energy and climate czar and was in charge of the EPA during Bill Clinton’s two-term administration.

Storm Damage

The country has to adapt to the fact that storms are becoming more violent and sea levels are rising, citing the impact of Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast last year.

A glut of natural gas has prompted U.S. companies to seek to export the fuel. The federal government approved in August, three export projects, including Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass and the Lake Charles Exports LLC terminals.

Abundance of the fuel could “be a major source of strength” versus other countries, said Robert Hormats, a former undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment in the Obama administration. “We have an enormous competitive advantage,” he said.

Browner said advances in shale drilling technology have happened so rapidly that it will take “billions” of dollars to reconfigure infrastructure to export fuel from initial plans to import it.

The U.S. should boost reliance on nuclear power by making carbon more costly, said Mark Tercek, president and chief executive officer of the Nature Conservancy, an Arlington, Virginia-based environmental organization.

“We failed to put a price on carbon,” Tercek said. “That would help nuclear.”

Browner said that she also supports nuclear power development.



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.