Shale Gas: A Boon That Could Stunt Alternatives, Study Says
Abundant shale gas could muscle dirty coal out of the U.S. energy picture, but the new resource could also inhibit even cleaner technologies, new economic modeling suggests.
A team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology used economic modeling to show that new abundant natural gas is likely to have a far more complex impact on the energy scene than is generally assumed. If climate policy continues to play out in the United States with a relatively weak set of measures to control emissions, the new gas source will lead to lower gas and electricity prices, and total energy use will be higher in 2050.
Absent the shale supply, the United States could have expected to see GHG emissions 2 percent below 2005 levels by 2050 under this relatively weak policy. But the lower gas prices under the current shale gas outlook will stimulate economic growth,