Plenty of Gas, But No Easy Fix for U.S. Energy Challenge
Innovation has sparked a boom in production of this low-carbon fuel. Taking advantage of its benefits is another matter.
It's the oil rush all over again, except this time it's not black gold gushing to the surface, but gas: natural gas.
New technologies—or rather, a combination of older technologies—have made it possible to mine huge quantities of natural gas out of the deep, solid rock called shale.
Because these deposits are found all over the United States, which until recently had been bracing for shortages of this key fuel, the implications are staggering.
Natural gas fires the blue flame on stovetops, it heats half the homes in the United States, and is also the fuel that can generate electricity with 50 percent lower carbon dioxide emissions than coal.
However, whether the new natural gas abundance can really help the country to get on